Can’t get in touch with Jim Winn in New Jersey?
As soon as his voicemail message turns on, you know exactly why.
“Hey. It’s Jim. I’m probably out fishing.”
Winn, a volunteer with the Recreational Fishing Alliance of New Jersey and avid, lifelong fisherman, retired from a career in sales and now spends two to four days a week on the water.
If he’s not on the water himself, he’s probably with his grandson, who he taught to fish, or volunteering with the Alliance, because he’s determined to help protect the sport of recreational fishing.
“I know my father taught me how to fish, but it was so long ago, I can’t remember catching that first one. Fishing, it’s my drug of choice.”
Winn particularly enjoys saltwater fishing in his 14-foot “tin can aluminum boat. We fish hard (for a variety of in and off shore seasonal species). It’s not going out with a six pack of beer to sit back and relax.”
Many of the fish end up back in the water after Winn’s reeled them in.
“I keep what I eat and the rest goes back. It’s more about the sport.”
That’s why Winn calls his work with the Alliance so important.
“I go to boat shows, outdoor shows, fishing shows and try to convince people to join our organization. We’re lobbyists for recreational saltwater fishermen. You don’t even realize it, but fishing is so tangled up in politics, we need lobbyists for us, too.”