One of the communities I’ve enjoyed being a part of is the paddle-fishing web forum. Sure there are inside jokes that I don’t get, and people can be picky about using certain types of lures (smelly one’s that don’t take much skill to use), and disdain the use of boats, but I was impressed by the bunch two Saturday’s ago for their semi-regular tournament series.
I generally stayed away from any type of web forums, because they are often used as a cyber-community in place of actual human community. But this community was not the case. Most were very friendly, and saw the fishing tournament like I did: a chance to meet some new people, and fellowship with old friends.
It was scary going into a new place and really not knowing many folks at all (I had previously fished with two different lads before), but meeting people was fairly easy. The first question after you meet someone is “What’s your screen name?” And then go from there.
Instead of people fishing alone (which was nearly impossible due to the fact there were like 60 kayaks in a small fishable area, and on an extremely low tide-even less water), many folks went off in pairs, some in groups of four-five. Some folks even asked to fish with me because I knew the area better. Of course one of them got the largest snook of the day, and 100 bucks for my guiding skills (I just said let’s head south and didn’t seem him for a while).
At the end of the tournament everyone went back to the “weigh-in” (just pictures of the fish) at a restaraunt to eat, drink, and of course BS. It just goes to show that people really do crave community. Perhaps even as much as fishing. One of the guys told me, “I’m never fishing alone again.” Even if some do fish alone, they immediately post the report with pictures on the forum. It just goes to show that we are created for community. And when people aren’t part of a church, they’ll just find a replacement.