I've noticed a lot of debate recently about "going over to the dark side" of fishing....I'm thinking a good definition of this might read something like this:
To fish for species one might not be familiar with - i.e. to leave your comfort zone.
For instance, Rebecca wrote an article about going over to the dark side of bass fishing. I can certainly understand the fear or discomfort in leaving one's comfort zone. I've been there before. Before I was into saltwater fishing at all, I was an avid bass angler. I used to read everything I could get my hands on in regards to bass....where to find them, what lure to use, and what a cold front does to fish.
When my buddy Chad tried to get me into saltwater fishing, I wasn't interested. I had everything I needed with bass....But I have to admit that I was scared. I didn't know anything about the salt. Where to go, what to use, what species was what. The fear made me cling to my bass rods even harder....that is until the first time a 20 lb snook dragged me under a dock and broke me off. Then it was on. Surprisingly, saltwater fishing with lures is quite a bit like bass fishing, it's just that the fish are bigger, the gear is bigger and the lures are bigger.
It wasn't that far out of the norm for me - when I was a kid, we lived in upstate New York. There were so many different fishing seasons that you just adapted your gear to suit what you were fishing for. Ice fishing, salmon run, muskys and walleye season, pike season.
I had the same fears when my buddy Scott kept telling me about fly fishing. "No thanks" I said, but I kept running into cool articles in Florida Sportsman about saltwater fly fishing. I didn't know anything about the sport, so I read everything I could get my hands on in regards to gear....combing the Internet to find gear that I could actually afford. Once I had the information, I felt empowered.
After I taught myself to cast, it was suggested to me that I should tie my own flies. "No way" I exclaimed, "I can't do that"....Well. After watching a few fly tying videos, I started looking at the flies in my fly box and decided that I could tie anything that I had purchased.
Then, someone told me about bonefish. "Sorry dude, I can't afford a trip to Andros...besides, I know nothing about bonefish and they aren't in my area."
Then I discovered Long Key State Park and found out that it's one of the best bonefish flats in the state.
I have to say that I'm afraid of trout fishing in the streams with dry's, nymphs, and whatever else...I know nothing about it.
So the bottom line is....stop being afraid of the fishing that you don't know about. Learn about it, read about it, talk to someone who knows about it.