If you follow my column on a regular basis, you are aware that I often write about giving back and taking care of the next generation of sportsmen. It’s one thing to talk about it and completely another to try and do it. In a few weeks I am going to do my best to help get the next generation of anglers hooked on fishing.
From July 8-11, I will be working with the YMCA and hosting a fishing camp for kids. Sessions will run from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and then from 1-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday of that week. If there are enough kids registered, those in kindergarten through third grade will be in the morning session, and then fourth through sixth grades will be in the afternoon.
I will cover age-appropriate fishing topics for each group. The younger kids will get to work on some casting, where they think is a good place to find a fish and what type of fish we can catch. The older kids will be able to cover some more in-depth topics like lure selection, seasonal patterns, and how to find fish on a lake or river you have never fished before. Of course, both groups will get to do plenty of fishing as well.
My goal is to fish several different lakes throughout the area during the week. Nothing gets kids excited about fishing and wanting to go fishing like actually catching something. That is my goal.
If you are interested in signing up your children, there are some things that you will want to make sure and have. First, please make sure your child has their own fishing pole that is already filled with line. You may want to make sure it is in good working order as well. With all of the cottonwood we have had floating around lately, it is a possibility you might need to clean that reel out.
Also make sure that you have your children all slathered up with sunscreen, and it wouldn’t hurt to have some water with them. We will be standing on the shoreline of the lakes we are going to be fishing. If you are more comfortable, it is OK to send them with their lifejackets in case someone slips.
I will provide bobbers and floats for the kids, small hooks, and I also will provide the worms. Every time I think of this, I envision myself surrounded by Snoopy poles and little angelic voices saying, “I need more worm, please.”