Walk on the Wild Side

Brad Harvey: Pass on the love of fishing

news@lakewyliepilot.comFebruary 17, 2013 

These days, it seems kids and adults can find a million reasons to stay in the house. After all, most folks have around 300 TV channels. There are computers in just about every home and even soon-to-be retired Pope Benedict has an iPad.

It’s sad to think how many children are growing up without experiencing what it’s like to land a fish, hunt a rabbit or call in a turkey unless they’re doing it in a virtual world .

It’s our responsibility to getthe next generation out of the cozy confines of their den and out into the natural world.

When I grew up, our world was filled with a life of adventure only we could create. Those BB guns felt like safari rifles and only the bravest of squirrels dared to stand out on a limb.

It didn’t matter the usual catch consisted of nothing more than a few bream . With each little fish landed, I was as thrilled as the day I caught my first blue marlin, and that didn’t happen until I was into my 20s.

The first largemouth bass I caught couldn’t have been more than 2 pounds, but he was far more than my 7 year old strength could bear. I finally gave up trying to reel him in and decided on a new tactic.

Turning around and placing the rod over my shoulder, I began to walk back toward the house in an all out tug-of-war. Miraculously, I won. I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face when I knocked on the back window and motioned for him to come see my prized catch.

Shouldn’t every kid have memories such as those?

If you agree, and are willing to accept the aforementioned responsibility, S.C. Department of Natural Resources is offering a perfect opportunity.

The SCDNR’s Aquatic Education Section is looking for experienced anglers to volunteer to help with a new family fishing instruction program. These Family Fishing Clinics are designed to help introduce the basics of fishing.

Participants will learn how to tie the necessary fishing knots, how to rig a rod, where to find fish, proper casting techniques and how to actually catch fish.

To become a certified DNR fishing instructors, visit dnr.sc.gov/aquaticed/instructor/ and register.

Volunteers are required to attend a training session and undergo a background check. Then host at least two clinics annually with a minimum total of 15 students and no more than 25. To learn the sport or have a child who would like to try fishing, call 803-737-8483.

Only by accepting our roles as mentors can we guarantee our fishing and hunting heritage will continue.

Brad Harvey is a freelance writer in Clover.

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