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Posted on Nov 29, 2010 in Next Cast
I Gave Thanks, Now What?

After Thanksgiving comes what? (OK, everybody chime in) "Christmas!" No, no, no... I'm not talking holidays or seasons or calendar dates. Here's what I mean: Once I've examined how very much I have as an American and a human and appropriately offered thanks, where do I go from here? Shouldn't such reflection create change?

If all we do is "think" about our lives and how we affect others, and we never "do" anything to improve or add to the ways we give, we're doomed to repeat our patterns - good ones and bad ones. And yes, we all know that, but doesn't it bear repeating as often as necessary?

Our fishing habits certainly fit the think-then-do equation. Do we do all we can to be ethical anglers? Do we donate time or money to causes and organizations that we feel improve our fisheries? If you answered no to both of those questions, consider a sea change.

Thankfully, we're surrounded by great examples: The captain who takes kids out for free several times a year just to introduce them to fishing; the behind-the-scenes anglers who write checks to conservation groups; the activist who attends all the fisheries meetings and speaks for his fellow anglers, rallies friends for letter-writing and petitions and supports hatchery programs.

If you know someone like that, first emulate him or her. Ask how you can help. Then, consider nominating that person for recognition. Sport Fishing has the perfect avenue, our inaugural Making a Difference Awards program.

Submit your nomination at In January, we'll provide a link to read about all the standout candidates you've sent us. Also, in each issue of Sport Fishing beginning with the November/December magazine on stands now, you can read a short description of a new nominee.

These honorees are everyday people who decided to take a simple step. And no, they don't have time, either. But they get up each morning and they "do."