An internist who currently works in one of Maryland’s leading hospital, Azeez Abiodun, hails from Nigeria and makes it a point to go back to his homeland at least once a year to help address various medical problems of people who have no access to medical and health services.

The death of his beloved mother due to cancer set him down on the medical path. He wanted to be of service to sick people and perhaps even help find a cure for various diseases.

He finished his medical studies in Nigeria and subsequently got a job offer from the Namibian government. He has also worked in South Africa for a while. He later relocated to the United States where he now currently resides with his family.

What is your hobby?

If I’m not attending to sick people or spending time with my family, I like to spend my free time fishing. I find it very relaxing and when I’m fishing, my nerves are relaxed and I find peace. I make it a point to go fishing at least once every two weeks. It calms me down and puts things in perspective. In my line of work, which is very demanding, time spent alone and with my thoughts is very important.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I only started fishing when I was in the United States. Back in Nigeria, I didn’t really fish because all my free time was spent either studying or helping my mother in the store.

A friend introduced me to fishing and at first, I thought it was a boring endeavor but it was actually very rewarding and since then I have been hooked.

Tell us what you love about it.

Contrary to what people think, fishing actually exercises your mind. It exercises patience and good thinking. It steadies your nerves and it gives me peace of mind. It’s a respite from the hectic hours spent in the hospital. These are just some of the reasons why I look forward to my fishing expeditions. One day I hope to pass on to my son the love of fishing.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

There is a fishing group in Maryland for professionals, which I am a part of. Once in a while we all get together, fish and cook whatever our catch for the day is. I see the camaraderie among everyone and it is a welcome respite from the busy lives we all lead. Sometimes we also bring our families with us and the children play with each other and our wives exchange recipes and tips. This is something, which we look forward to.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

When you go fishing, equipment matters. Well, I think in every kind of sport or activity it does. Some of the equipment we all need for fishing are the tackles, baits, rods and other things. It is very important to invest good money in your equipment because if you do not there is a very big chance that you will not enjoy the sport.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

If I have time I go to local fishing shops to buy supplies by myself or sometimes with friends who also indulge in the sport. However, if I am too busy I purchase my fishing supplies from online sellers. There is quite a good number of them now with a wide selection of great items.

Are there any good books for beginners?

There are numerous fishing guide books for beginners and there are also various articles online which you can read for free. It is very important to educate yourself about fishing and fishing equipment before you spend a considerable amount of money. You must get your penny’s worth as your fishing gear is also an investment.

How has this changed your life?

Fishing has changed my life because it has helped make me a lot calmer and it helps me see things in perspective.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Talk to people who have been fishing for a long time. Ask them for tips on what equipment to purchase and techniques on fishing. You will be surprised with all the things you can learn. The more you fish the more you will learn and the more you will be able to improve your skills.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Aside from fishing, I also enjoy collecting old and rare books. I have a whole room in my house dedicated to old and rare books. Whenever I travel, I make it a point to visit local libraries to see if they have any books, which I can add to my collection. To date, I have spent a considerable amount of money on my rare books collection.