One of my favourite aspects of fishing is introducing others, especially kids. Nothing beats watching a child reel in their first fish ever and learning how to properly handle and release their catch. I’ll never forget my own feelings of excitement and anticipation as my family headed north every summer to visit our friend Arnold on Lake Kashwakamak at his lodge (Twin Oaks Lodge). Neither of my parents fish, but they made sure to give my brother and I the opportunity each summer and whenever possible. If it wasn’t for that, for Arnold and the walleye – this blog wouldn’t even exist. So, it’s easy to see how an annual trip was the foundation of my passion and dream.Recently, I met up with a former co-worker and his wife and their two children; Ian and Jake to do some fishing in my hometown, Napanee, Ontario. Jake loves fishing and he told me “I picked fishing today with you instead of going BMX-ing” which according to his father, is his favourite thing to do. Ian had been fishing a few times before but had not yet caught a fish.
It didn’t take long to change that! Here is Ian holding a fish for the very first time moments after he reeled in it all on his own. Way to go! He caught a few fish that day and it was adorable to see his face light up when he reeled them in!
Jake, with one of his sunfish on the boardwalk in Napanee. Jake was an excellent student and since our trip he has been fishing and catching lots of fish on his local lake!
Thankfully, there are kids fishing events held each year, and I do my best to get involved and help out. One event I will surely be attending annually is the Catch A Dream Kids Fishing Derby. This is a free, not-for-profit event with a simple concept – give children the opportunity to spend a day on the water fishing from a boat followed by a professional tournament-style weigh-in, prizes and a BBQ. What a great opportunity! Each child and their parent are paired with an angler and get to spend a few hours fishing with the assistance of anglers that volunteer their time and equipment. I don’t have my own boat yet, but I have been fortunate the past 2 years to ride along with another angler and participate in the event.
This year I fished with Abby and we won biggest perch in the derby which weighed in at 1.5 pounds! Abby was a very good angler and did an excellent job!
John Whyte, Abby, myself and Abby’s father Glenn with our load of perch!
I look forward to more kids fishing adventures, with another planned for later this week! The curiosity, determination and patience is the spark that ignites a passion. I hope you will pass on your love for fishing; it can be as simple as a slip float, jig head and worm!