The Angling Section’s Kids Clinic proved to be a girl’s day out on October 2 during the school holidays. The Clinic has proved extremely popular over the last few years, with children aged 6 to 15 years embracing the joys of fishing. With a ceiling set at 14 kids, the day begins on the Sunset Deck with some general philosophies about angling before a more hands-on session involving knot tying and casting.
Some of the children have a basic grasp of the techniques while others have little knowledge. That void is filled by the volunteers – John and Denise Bech, Tania Coppola, Janet Kitney, Bob Litster, Bert Zuideveld and Ray Wilson – from the Angling Section, and recfishwest officer Kate Sewell who has attended two clinics this year to address the children about the organisation’s work and important aspects of fishing, including stock preservation.
The October Clinic demonstrated clearly that fishing is as attractive to girls and it is boys, with nine of the 13 kids on board females. And, with half the volunteers also women, the male gender was considerably outnumbered. But the fun of the day was equally shared by everybody on board George Greaves 55-footer, Prosperity, a lovely roomy boat kindly provided by the skipper-owner and captain of Game and his wife Jackie because of the engine work being completed on Success.
With a group of eager kids brimming with expectation of what the day might bring, old sea dog George steamed out towards the Windmills on a perfect day – little swell and the breeze fluffing around five knots. Sand whiting was the target, and George’s spot delivered as fish started coming over the side soon after the captain cut the engines. The activity kept the volunteers busy taking the whiting off the hooks, rebaiting and at times, removing some of the pesky juvenile flathead which were around in abundance.
After four hours at sea, and some sand whiting, and stories, to take home, along with fabulous sandwiches from the FSC galley, George headed back to base. Ice creams were devoured as the kids all had five sandies to take home for tea. A good day was had by all. The parents, friends or grandparents who came to collect the kids by 3.30pm immediately knew the day was a hoot for the young anglers by the smile on their faces and the non-stop chatter about how many fish they caught.
The Angling Section is grateful to recfishwest for a grant this year to help not only run the Clinic but also to fund the partial replacement of some of the old rods and reels. The Section is hopeful of replacing the remainder of the equipment next year. The next clinic is scheduled for the summer school holidays, probably around mid-January. If any parents or grandparents are keen on treating kids to a day of fishing activities, contact Clinic Coordinator Ray Wilson on 0411 239272.
Event Report by Ray Wilson