Simonton takes Minnesota youth on the water

RED LAKE, Minn. — While traveling across country on the Bassmaster Elite Series trail, Michael Simonton tries to squeeze in a fishing event to introduce kids to fishing.

“I was a school teacher before joining the Elite Series, and one of the things I decided to do before I turned pro was to work with youth,” said Simonton.

His latest effort was a day of fishing, June 24, with kids from the Red Lake Youth Fishing League, which mainly consists of children from the Red Lake Indian Reservation. After competing in the Elite Series event in La Crosse, Wis., Simonton drove to Red Lake to spend one day fishing with the kids and the next day fishing with Darwin Sumner, the founder of the Red Lake Youth Fishing League.

“It is so far north that the fishing is incredible,” Simonton said.

Twenty-three kids ranging in age from 8 to 18 went out fishing in five boats, including Simonton’s Elite Series rig. Simonton took a couple of kids fishing for an hour and a half before they had a picnic lunch. He took a couple more kids fishing for two hours after lunch. “I gave away a rod and reel to the kid who caught the largest bass,” said Simonton.

Sumner said the kids know about the Bassmaster Elite Series so they were excited to have Simonton as a guest.

“They thought it was great,” said Sumner. “They had so many questions for him.”

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