Tiger and I had the opportunity to to talk fishing on 4/5 at a Ducks Unlimited Greenwing Seminar
for kids nearby Fishhawk Clay
. The age group was 6-15; most were in the 6-10 range.
It was really good way for kids to get exposed to not just hunting/shooting as well as fishing. There were raffles for kids with a variety of items and a gun raffle at the end.
Here's a partial snapshot of the amount of people that showed up.
In order to identify DU folks versus people attending the seminar we were given blaze orange hats; it'll probably be my kayak "offshore" hat for fishing for poon. I'm sure people will see me for 1-2 miles.
Tiger and I opted to separate the fishing groups into two groups - those who wanted to learn how to cast (Tiger's group), and those who wanted to learn about kayaking (my group).
I took my sit in and sit on top kayaks to give some perspective of types of boats. In the background you can see a station where a Lab was working on retrieving dummies.
On the other side was the shotgun area...
We talked about advantages/disadvantages, safety, riggings, starting kids out fishing...for the parents I stressed the importance of getting kids off the computers/Xbox, and the fact you don't need $20K to get the kids on fish. For kids...well, you really don't have to sell the sport to hard. Most are ready to go, but I did stress that kids love being the captain of their own boat.
Course we were next to a shotgun area so we had to talk a bit louder than expected and after 3 hours of presentations I was looking forward to some good ole fashion burgers and dogs. I'm so used to hanging with people that fish that to be exposed to people who really don't know anything about kayaking, canoeing or fishing was somewhat interesting. Lots of good questions, and I think we've managed to get some new anglers/kayakers.
You can see that the facility is a well cared for area and frankly if I were really into shooting I would think that this would be the place to go.
It was great to see some of the younger kids learn to cast in 5 minutes. A good tip for this type of event is to start out with everything weedless, use your cheaper rods to teach them, and don't use expensive lures.
After lunch I talked to on of the FWC Officers and asked a couple questions. Specifically:
- Can you tell me about the auto deploy/inflatable pfds? I've been told that I must wear them while under way (kayak or powerboat), but can take them off once stopped.
- Other than for research purposes, I know that you cannot take Tarpon over 40" out of the water for a picture. How is "out of the water" defined". Half the fish in, tail in, all in?
For the PFDs it appears that I have been in violation of the law on occasion. In the summer I have taken the pfd off in my kayak. The law specifically reads that for these types of PFDs regardless of vessel they must be worn at ALL times. The only exception to that is if you have a regular pfds somewhere else. I told him I thought that didn't make much sense, because if I have a regular pfd stowed away somewhere in my powerboat I would not be in violation of the law; however, in my kayak I do not carry extra pfds so technically I would be in violation of the law if I was not wearing the vest. Regardless that's the law - wear it or face the consequences.
For the tarpon we went to the book
. In a nutshell we couldn't find what the legal requirements are. We left it at it's the discretion of the officer. Suffice to say if you're going to haul one out - which to me seems like a REALLY bad idea for a variety of reasons - leave some in the water.
It's interesting that DU efforts overlap so much with kayakers. They are very serious about preservation of wetlands and we did talk about the MacDill Ferry proposal
and the impact on the Kitchen.
Rounding out the day, we were given some cool DU coins for our volunteer efforts.
If you're not fishing it was a good way to spend Sat.