It was on a Veterans Day a few years ago that Jacksonville sport fishing captain and radio host Rick Ryals got inspired: “It came to me that my dad spent World War II in Germany while my mom was …
Catch of the Day for Florida Foster Kids
Eight-year-old Miguel had never caught a fish before Oct. 18. But thanks to Bass Pro Shops in Dania Beach, FL. and the International Fellowship of Hunting and Fishing Rotarians, the little boy caught and released his first-ever largemouth bass in the lake next to the store.
Miguel, who used a live shiner on a light spinning outfit, explained his successful technique.
“I threw over there and then held tight,” he said, nodding toward the lake. When it went under, I wind it up. It was wiggling a little bit. It was slimy.”
After Bass Pro volunteer staffer captain Brian Leibowitz re-baited his hook, Miguel was ready to catch another fish.
He is one of 14 youngsters aged 7-15 from the S.O.S. Children’s Village foster care neighborhood in Coconut Creek, FL. who got to spend the morning learning to fish in a target-rich environment stocked with carp, largemouth and peacock bass, and catfish. To really stack the odds, Leibowitz brought along dozens of live shiners in addition to containers of earthworms. He and fellow volunteers baited the kids’ hooks and taught them how to cast, land, and release their fish alive.
“They’re having a blast,” said Genevieve Areson, the volunteer manager at
It wasn’t the first fishing trip for some of the youngsters; they have gone on deep-sea outings aboard local party boats. But this time, “these kids get to fish without getting seasick,” Leibowitz noted.
Top fish of the day was a four-pound peacock bass caught and released by 11-year-old Nicholas. He was awarded a rod and reel for his accomplishment.
But nearly everyone caught at least one fish. The final total was 17 largemouth and four peacocks released.
The group worked up an appetite fighting all those fish, and celebrated afterward with lunch at McDonald’s.
Sue Cocking chronicles the Guy Harvey Outpost travel and adventure experience in regular blog posts on GuyHarveyOutpostNews.com/. For 21 years, Cocking covered the full spectrum of outdoors adventure opportunities in South Florida and beyond for the Miami Herald, including fishing, diving, hunting, paddling, camping, sailing and powerboat racing. She is a certified scuba diver and holder of an IGFA women’s world fly fishing record for a 29-pound permit.