Hello to everyone following SGYAA’s inaugural family fishing group’s progress! Each week, following our Saturday meetings, we will be posting a review of what we did and how things went for that day, as well as what we plan on doing the following week. Once the blog is edited and ready to post, we will provide links to the various social media sources people are using to follow our progress. The blogs will be written by Forrest, our founder, and from his perspective. Thank you all for your interest and support in SGYAA and our mission to help families learn the basics of angling with the hopes they will find a hobby they can enjoy doing together and strengthen their personal relationships.
I don’t think I could have hoped that our first week would go so well. It is no secret that this is a new venture for myself, our board, our volunteers, sponsors, and families. Personally, I was extremely nervous. My idea was an hour long orientation with explanation of the rules, legal stuff, tons of paperwork to read, and just hope that the kids wouldn’t be bored out of their minds. Fortunately for our group, things didn’t go as I planned Saturday morning, and that awful idea was scrapped about 10 minutes before meeting. Instead, we had the parents sign the appropriate waivers and forms while giving a quick explanation of what to expect. Within 20 minutes, we were in our vehicles and on our way to the State Park to cram as much fishing as possible in the time we had left. The hope was that if we could get these kids and their parents catching a fish as soon as possible, they would look forward to getting back out there the next week.
While future weeks will have more time spent showing them how our volunteers got them set up and ready to go on their own, this week their rigs were put together by our volunteers so they could get bait on the hook and in the water. It wasn’t long before Keith White, one of the parents, was reeling in our first fish of the day: a little spot. Once Keith proudly proved to the kids that there were actually fish in the water, it was game on. Rich King and Eric Marsh, my two helpers that day, were pretty busy showing everyone how to drop line, feel a bite, hook a fish, and reel it in. Even though not everyone caught a fish, most did within the hour we had of formal instruction. After I informed everyone that our block time was up, but they could continue to fish with us as long as our volunteers were there, most of the families decided to stay. We took the additional time to do a little more explaining of what bait we were using and what we could catch with it.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have much action after 11:30am or so. However, I was really impressed with the patience everyone had once things had slowed down. Most everyone stayed until noon and said they looked forward to our next outing together this upcoming Saturday.
Overall, I am really optimistic about how well future outings will go. The few mistakes that were made on the administrative end will be learned from before Saturday so we can assure the families as much time actually fishing as possible. Since our activities are contingent among weather, tides, and current fishing trends, our scheduled outings are tentative. Most likely, the next meeting will be at the Henlopen Pier with a little more instruction on how to get their rod setup, what fish are around the pier, and what a rig/bait to use for their desired fish.