Though it can be a contentious topic for some, you won’t find Jaz Robinson complaining about daylight saving time.
“It means more fishing during the workweek,” she said. “I’m thankful for that time change because I can fish more than just on the weekends.”
Jaz Robinson is passionate about fishing. Most Saturday and Sunday mornings (and now some weekdays), you’ll find her on the banks of the fishing pond at Lakeside Park in Duncanville, near Dallas. It’s where she caught her first fish eight years ago, an experience that transformed her life.
“It was a very small fish, a little blue gill, and I was a little freaked out. I had fished a few times before but had never caught one. In fact, I was close to giving up on it. But after that first catch, I just couldn’t stop. I wanted to catch more.”
Jaz has always enjoyed being outside, but until an outdoorsy ex-boyfriend introduced her to fishing, she had never picked up a rod. She accompanied him on many trips, but until she caught that first fish, she wasn’t really interested in doing it on her own.
“After that, I didn’t wait for him to be available to take me, I just wanted to fish. And after we broke up, I didn’t want to give it up, because at that point, I realized that fishing was a passion.”
At first it was a struggle, because she had depended on him to rig up her gear.
“I just made a personal challenge for myself to try to figure it out. I did online research and viewed a lot of YouTube videos, learning how to tie on certain types of bait and what bait to use for certain types of fish. I just went after it, and it’s been nonstop ever since.”
As Jaz became more confident in her skills, she turned her attention to sharing what she knows with others, especially women of color.
“There’s not a lot of representation in the outdoors for people who look like me. When I first started fishing, children would always approach me, especially young girls, and they would be so interested and engaged in what I was doing. That lit a fire in me and made me want to kick it up a notch and be that resource for women, or really anyone who wants to get out there and give fishing a try.”
Jaz shares her fishing journey with several thousand followers on Instagram. As her Instagram bio proclaims, Jaz is “Just a sista who loves to fish. Embracing the passion. Stick around and witness the journey!”
She also has a YouTube page, where she plans on posting more tutorial videos. TikTok is in play, too. She’s started her own brand and has sold many hats to her fans and followers. She hopes to spread the word about the joy of fishing far and wide, especially in communities who may not have any fishing experience.
“Fishing and being outdoors is such a wonderful experience. It gives you time to reflect on life. Being in that environment is very calming and soothing. Fishing has taught me a lot about patience and persistence. I think it is a very healthy outlet, and more people could benefit from it if they are exposed to it.”
Jaz will be the first to tell you she isn’t an expert, and that she is learning more every day. She has also learned more about conservation.
“I can’t say that I thought about it much previously before I was out there fishing all the time. But now I am, and I am so aware of the lakes and rivers and fishing ponds, like the one at Lakeside Park. We have to take care of these places so they are a safe haven for fish and wildlife.”
Jaz plans on continuing her fishing journey in 2022; buying a fishing boat is also on her agenda this year. Along the way, she will continue to share her love for fishing in every way she can.
“I think representing my community definitely matters. I never claim to be any type of professional or an expert. This is me taking everyone on my journey of trial and error and learning how to fish, and that motivates me to promote the outdoors and be there for anyone who wants to learn.”
Jaz now has a new platform to share her story, as a We Will Not Be Tamed ambassador for Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. We Will Not Be Tamed calls us to appreciate the wildness of Texas, the vastness of our Texas spirit, and why we should be inspired to conserve it.
“It is such an honor to be selected as an ambassador to represent this mission. This aligns perfectly with everything I’m doing right now. Fishing is not just a hobby for me, it’s a passion. And Texas Parks and Wildlife embodies everything I care about. I can’t wait to just be outdoors and represent!”