By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer
(June 22, 2018) The Ocean Pines Anglers Club will host its 16th annual Teach a Kid to Fish Day at the Ocean Pines South Gate Pond near the Sports Core Pool, Saturday, June 23 from 9-11 a.m.
The Anglers Club will teach children how to fish and identify the different species in the pond, tie knots and use bait. The children can then use their newly acquired skills to compete in the 22nd annual Art Hansen Memorial Youth Fishing Contest, held July 21.
“The Anglers Club is a group of local fishermen and part of their enjoyment is fishing with their kids and grandkids and so forth,” Ocean Pines Anglers Club member Walt Boge said. “About 22 years ago now, one of the founders decided we ought to have a kid’s fishing contest and have their families participate.”
Members of the Ocean Pines Anglers Club, Department of Natural Resources, and other local groups will offer fishing tips, general fishing info and free fishing items.
“The Department of Natural Resources always tell them what the rules are, [and] what the law says in terms of what kind of fish you can catch and where and what limitations are,” Boge said. “They always come and give away good stuff like whistles and a bag of goodies for the kids. They enjoy it.”
Children ages 4-16 are invited to this free fishing lesson. Parents are welcome to participate as well.
“I think part of the objective is we think fishing is a fun thing for people to do,” Boge said. “We think kids would enjoy it if they got introduced to it early on, especially if their parents are involved.
“Fishing is kind of a family thing, so we like teaching them the fundamentals,” he continued. “The parents don’t know the fundamentals, [such as] tying knots, casting [and] identifying different kinds of fish.”
Boge said the best thing in the world is watching a kid catch their first fish.
“If you’ve ever come to one of these events, you see a little kid catching a fish that they will show to their parents or a judge,” he continued. “They are absolutely ecstatic. They just love it. It’s like, ‘Holy smokes, look what I caught.’ You would be amazed if you looked at them. They just come running up and it may be the smallest fish, but they just love it.”
No pre-registration is required for the Teach a Kid to Fish event. Bait and water will be provided by the Anglers Club.
“We normally get anywhere between 70 and 90 kids coming,” Boge said. “We anticipate anywhere up to 100 kids.”
Young anglers should bring their own rod and reel, as well as sunscreen. The Anglers Club will have a limited number of rods and reels available for those who do not have their own. At the end of the event, a new rod and reel will be given away.
For more information, contact Boge at 410-208-2855.