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Entries in kids (7)


Potash Tournament Benefits Fishery, as Well as Charity, Kids

Tournament competitors dropped Fishiding "Safehouses" to improve habitat at Strom Thurmond Reservoir.

Activist Angler note: Teaming with Fishiding, PotashCorp introduced a conservation component to its benefit tournament last year and plans to include it again this year. I hope that other tournament organizers will take note and follow the leader because these kinds of projects actually could improve fisheries.

A few have had competitors release fry during one of the competition days, but all that really does is provide an opportunity for promotion of the event. It does little or nothing to help the fishery. If bass have sufficient habitat, they will reproduce just fine on their own. If they don't, adding more fish to compete for already limited forage and cover is pointless.

The following article about the Potash tournament appears in the April issue of B.A.S.S. Times:

In regard to bass tournaments, Joey Bruyninckx had a better idea.

“I wanted to do something that benefits charity, kids, and the environment,” said the environmental specialist for PotashCorp, who added that he likes to fish and has ties to fishing. “From there, it just all came together.”

Thus was born the PotashCorp Fishback Tournament, set for June 6-7 at J. Strom Thurmond Reservoir (also known as Clark Hill) on the Georgia-South Carolina border.

But it’s possible that this year’s team event, unlike the inaugural last year, might be changed to one day instead of two.

“A lot of the fishermen are older and the two-day tournament was rough on them,” Bruyninckx said. “And it was exhausting for the volunteers. Changing it to one day should increase participation while lessening work.”

Still, last year’s two-day tournament, with a $12,000 payout for first place, was a “huge success,” said the employee of the world’s largest fertilizer company. With 135 teams competing, $6,000 was raised for the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance and $4,000 for the North Augusta Fishing Team, a youth organization. Volunteers from the latter performed much of the labor, including returning bass to the lake.

What made this event different from most others, meanwhile, was the conservation component. On Day One, each team placed habitat in the reservoir on its first or second stop.

“I was worried that there would be a lot of fussing and grumbling,” the environmental specialist said. “But afterward, a number of them told me how much they appreciated what we were doing. There were way more positive comments than negative.”

Had competitors been asked to load a brushpile with cinder blocks onto the deck of their bass boats, the reaction might not have been so positive. But instead PotashCorp provided them with self-contained habitats made from reclaimed vinyl siding by Fishiding (a supporter of Activist Angler). All anglers had to do was unfold and drop the “Safehouse,” which boasts a 7-foot diameter when opened.

Fishiding owner Dave Ewald said the units “sink to the bottom and land upright to resemble a bush. The wide limbs create maximum shade, often preferred by bass and forage fish. Nutrients then stick to the vinyl and start the food chain.”

Bruyninckx sought and received approval from Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) before implementing the habitat-improvement component of the tournament. Orginally, he had considered having each team release bass fry, but DNR biologists convinced him that adding habitat would be more beneficial.

The same is planned for this year’s event, which its creator hopes will have more sponsors. PotashCorp donated $25,000 last year and is expected to increase that to $30,000 this year.

Those interested in participating in the tournament should contact Jon Hair at the Tackle Shop in Martinez, Ga. Phone numbers are (706) 432-8225 and (706) 723-6292.

Companies interested in being a sponsor should contact Bruyninckx at (706) 469-1239. 


KFT Wants to Get More Kids Fishing


Check out this new Wisconsin-based organization designed to get more youngsters involved in fishing. The following is from the organization's "about" page.

KIDS FISHING FOR TOMORROW is a non profit organization dedicated to young men and women between the ages 10 to 17 years of age. This will be our first year with this new program so it’s very important to get all to support, sponsorships and donations that we can. We can’t make this happen without your support. 

KIDS FISHING FOR TOMORROW is a program that will help protect the sport of fishing for generations. This organization is like no other in the country. We are on the water with these young adults 120 to 150 days a year. Our goal is to get as many kids on the water with our team of State Licensed Fishing Guides and Professional Tournament Anglers. On any normal given week we will be running two shifts a day 5 days a week. One morning shift and one afternoon shift. Each boat will take a maximum of 3 young men and women per shift weather providing. 

  • These kids will learn how to tie different knots on hooks and swivels. 
  • They will learn the art of jigging, trolling with planner boards.
  • Different techniques to fishing with slip bobber's. 
  • They will learn how to read fish locators and GPS mapping
  • Learn and have the opportunity to catch big fish.


KIDS FISHING FOR TOMORROW is designed to cost parents of these young men and women nothing. This program is designed to get kids on the water no matter what background they come from. We understand life is not always easy. Whether from single or combined parent families we encourage all young adults that want to learn and challenge themselves in the world of fishing to participate in our program. Not all families have the skills, knowledge or personal resources available to expose their child to the outdoor experience of fishing. We encourage all families to take advantage of this program. For some of these young men and women, this will be there first time fishing or fishing from a boat. 

KIDS FISHING FOR TOMORROW will give those kids the opportunity to get out and be hooked for life. We want to get kids on the water and teach them the proper art of fishing so that they will have the opportunity to catch fish and the possibility of catching a fish of a life time. 

can not do this without your support. We truly need all the support we can get. We have a lot of expenses as you can imagine. Please help support this great community organization with a simple donation or become a sponsor. Every dollar raised for this organization will be used to help serve the needs of the kids and support our mission.

Not all kids can throw a football 50 yards or hit a baseball 300 feet but they can learn how to fish which they can carry with them the rest of there lives.

Our goal is to move this program into as many states as we can through your support. Remember these kids are all of our futures. We can’t do this without your support!


Family Bluegill Tournament Planned for Sept. 28 in Texas

Photo by Robert Montgomery

A bluegill family fishing tournament is set for Sept. 28, sponsored by the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. What a great way to remind adults how much fun they can have by fishing with children.

Participants can fish in adjacent Lake Athens or in the center’s ponds and streams, some of which have been stocked with bluegill.

More than $2,500 in prizes will be awarded.

Go here to learn more.



While Waiting for a Bite . . .

As a child, I thought that a great blue heron was a pterodactyl. Photo by Robert Montgomery

When I was young, I couldn’t bear the thought of being on the shore of a lake, pond, or river without a fishing rod in my hands. Water was there to be fished. Period.

Looking back, with the wisdom of age, I realize that “catching” was secondary. What I lived for was wetting a line, with the hope of catching fish. What might be was more important than what was.

So I fished and fished and fished, as much as I possibly could. Understandably, I spent lots of time not catching fish as I figured out what worked and what did not.

With all of that slow time, waiting for fish to bite the worm on my bottom rig or under my float, I also began to take note of what was going on in the natural world around me.

I still can remember watching a great blue heron fly by in the distance and being certain that I was seeing a pterodactyl.

I’ll never forget looking down at a bush near me and seeing what I swear was a green spider of alien proportions. Was it really there? Probably not. But I took off like a rocket, without taking a second glance. And when I finally had bolstered my courage enough to return the next day, it was not there.

As I spent more time waiting for the fish to bite, though, I saw more great blue herons and learned what they really are. I slowly recognized how light and wind can play on the tendrils of a blossom, creating an optical illusion. I discovered the difference between dragonflies and damselflies.

And I learned to appreciate all of the wonders around me.

I thought about this recently, when I walked down to the lake behind my house --- without a fishing rod. As the sun set, I built a fire and sat back to enjoy a cool spring day’s transition into night.

I watched bats and fireflies, listened to cricket frogs and whippoorwills, and realized how different it was for me now. All of those hours waiting for bites gave me time to open my eyes and see what was going on around me in nature’s classroom. They led me to recognize birds, reptiles, and mammals of all kinds and to derive pleasure simply from observing their behavior. They gave me time to watch the wind, appreciate the clouds, and study the stars.

And, over time, this enjoyment of nature, given to me by reluctant fish, has provided  a pastime that requires no fishing rod--- even if I am on the water.

Oh, I still love to fish. I still get excited planning the next trip. And most of the time when I’m near water, I have a fishing rod in my hands. But with age and experience, I have realized that the pleasure to be derived from fishing comes from more than just a bite at the end of the line.


Spinner and Bobber Encourage Kids to Go Fishing

Especially if you have children or grandchildren, you’ll want to check out a new website called FishingKids.

Its founders say this:

The FishingKids website is an invitation to children to join the FishingKids community – to meet the characters, play games, share pictures, write stories, send Grampa Grams, take quizzes, read maps, and more.

“The website was developed in collaboration with fishing experts, teachers, and parents. With kid-friendly advice on fishing in all parts of the country, maps, and a fishing glossary, the website is fun for kids, as well as educational.”

And this from the site with headquarters in White Bear Lake, MN:

“Nature Deficit Disorder is a condition that afflicts a majority of youth in America. Each year finds fewer children connecting with the Great Outdoors. Grandparents and parents lament the fact that their kids are becoming couch potatoes who have never caught a fish or slept under the stars.

“In response to this alarming trend, an inspired group of outdoor enthusiasts came together to create FishingKids, an integrated program of books, toys, games, apparel, and accessories that encourages children to get outside and play.

“With an emphasis on a healthy outdoor lifestyle and positive social values, FishingKids is a world designed to energize kids to get outdoors to enjoy the same activities that their parents and grandparents grew up with.

“The world of FishingKids is centered upon two young boys, Spinner and Bobber, and their fishing adventures around the United States. The FishingKids heroes – along with their parents, grandparents, and friends – share their fishing stories from around the country. Along the way, they learn lessons about fishing skills, safety, sportsmanship, geography, culture, friendship, and optimism.”