Ontario clubs to teach thousands of kids to cast

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Photo courtesy of Jason Barnucz
Kids in Ontario will get a chance to learn casting at the upcoming wildlife expo.

SIMCOE, Ontario — Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation clubs are once again participating in the Norfolk Wildlife Festival and Adventure Show to introduce kids to fishing.

The annual show, March 12-13 at the Aud on the Norfolk County Fairgrounds, provides local families with an indoor activity promoting the great outdoors during March Break. Kids attending the event are given a passport to fun allowing them to engage at various wildlife-theme stations around the hall.

Last year, three Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation clubs — the Hamilton Bassmasters, St. Catharines Bassmasters and Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge Bassmasters — joined with the Long Point Bay Anglers Association to conduct a casting event that drew more than 2,000 kids in two days.

The club members determined holding a traditional CastingKids contest would take too long for the volume of kids coming to the booth, so they decided to purchase a Backyard Bass game to give kids a chance to catch a “bass” and learn some basic casting techniques, said Jason Barnucz, conservation and junior director of the Hamilton Bassmasters.

Berkley and Shakespeare donated rods, reels, line and prizes for the contest.

“The Bassmaster Casting Booth was so popular last year we have been invited back and given more space because we clogged the aisles with waiting kids last year,” Barnucz said. The clubs ran two lanes of contestants last year, and with the additional booth space, this year’s contest will have five lanes available.

Barnucz said he’s anticipating volunteers from the St. Catharines and Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge clubs to help again this year, in addition to the Erie Bassmasters and Forest City Bassmasters.