This year’s Future Pros Fishing Camp is over. It was a huge success. The weather held off for us, and we had a pretty good bite. That’s about as much as anyone can ask for. I can’t say thanks loud enough to everyone who helped put it on. The kids all had a great time and so did we. That would not have been possible without all the volunteers and sponsors.
I’ll tell you what, though, there’s something I noticed that I think we should all think about. A lot of the kids who crossed the stage made the comment that this was the first time they’d ever caught a fish. And, many of them said it was the first time they’d ever been in a boat.
To those of us who grew up fishing and running around in the outdoors, that’s hard to believe. That’s mostly what I did as a kid. Of course, I didn’t have the Internet and all the social media at my disposal. It’s not that the electronic age is bad. I use it all the time. It’s just that it’s not the beginning and end of everything there is.
If there are that many kids running around that have never caught a fish or gone fishing in a boat there’s something wrong, and it’s something we can fix. All we have to do is make a commitment (and keep it) to take a youngster fishing every now and then. It’s not that tough on us and it means the world to them. In some cases, it can change a life.
How hard is it to spend a few hours out with a kid? We’re on the water all the time anyway so why not make it something more meaningful than just us catching fish. I’m going to make that special effort starting right now and I hope you do as well. It’s about more than the future of our sport. It’s about our way of life.
So anyway, we have everything cleaned up and most of the stuff we used put away. It’ll be right where we need it next year. Now it’s time to relax for a few days and then get ready to attack the rest of the season. I’ve got some points to make up.
That won’t be easy, though. Both the St. Lawrence River and Lake St. Clair are full of big, outsized smallmouth bass. Most of the guys will get on them and I’m thinking there’ll be several big sacks at the weigh-ins. But that’s still a couple of weeks away.
Right now I’m going to put the finishing touches on this column and then I’m going outside to finish the last nine holes of my golf game with my dad, my son Cal, Robert Shamblin from Power-Pole, his son Bo, and Tony Chachere. We’re all about even right now but I’m hoping to change that in a little while.
Next week we’ll talk about fishing the grass and the mats here on Guntersville in the fall. It’s something that every bass angler should experience at least once in his or her life.