Wittman began fishing as a toddler with his father. He grew up around a lot of streams and ponds in Westmoreland County, Va., and would fish after school as a kid.
“I remember going out with a cane pole and a bobber and a can of worms and going out and catching some bluegill at the pond, and it just grew from there,” he recalls.
He caught his first fish off a pier in Virginia during a fishing trip with his father and a family friend.
“I remember my dad helping me put the worm on the hook and put the bobber out there,” he says. “I thought that was the neatest thing in the world when the fish would come up there and eat the worm. ... The fish was hooked and so was I.”
Nowadays, Wittman doesn’t get to fish nearly as much as he’d like to. What used to be a daily ritual now occurs only two or three times a year.
“It’s little snippets of time,” he says. “You get an hour here, an hour there.”
While Wittman may not get to spend a lot of time on the water, he does have a job that allows him to spend a lot of time thinking about fishing. From his seat on the Natural Resources Committee, Wittman is able to work on legislation regarding the streams and ponds that he holds near and dear. And anytime he misses having a rod in his hand, he can take a seat in the fishbowl and reminisce among some of his favorite catches.
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Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.