If smiles count for anything, the Angling Section’s Fishing Clinic on January 17 was an outstanding success.
Some kids had fished before, some had barely ever dropped a line while others were just eager to try their luck, but no matter the level of experience the 15 kids had a ball.
Almost all the children on board were given the opportunity to fish the day after missing the cut for the September 26 clinic last year.
With 10 volunteers from the Angling Section – John and Denise Bech, Mark Maher, Bob and Coralie Litster, Bert Zuideveld, Sue Keenan-Smith, Martin Smith, Iain Grassick and Ray Wilson – the kids gathered on the Sunset Deck at 8.30am for a briefing on the day’s activities.
With an impending sea breeze, the introductory chat and knot tying were kept to a minimum, before the eager beavers jumped aboard Success which was loaded with drinks, food for the day and a lot of dreams!
Despite a 12-15 knot sou-wester right from the get-go, there was little swell as skipper Mark Maher headed due west to some sand patches between Mewstone and the Stragglers.
The kids were taught earlier about the basics of a running sinker rig for sand whiting, and with the breeze cranked up, it made sense for Mark to anchor the boat.
From the very first drop, the sand whiting were on cue to amuse the kids, with many young anglers nailing a fish with their first cast.
The Angling Section volunteers moved around the boat, helping and mentoring the kids, fetching bait, undoing tangles and taking fish off hooks that some kids weren’t too keen about.
Water melon was scoffed, lovely sandwiches from the Club kitchen were devoured, and even celery and carrot sticks proved a big hit.
With the wind in a holding pattern, a few more spots in the same area didn’t prove as productive, but that counted little for the kids who liked nothing more than lifting the lid on the esky to admire their catch of whiting and herring.
A final treat came in the form of ice creams after Success was docked in the marina, and more smiles followed when the parents arrived to collect their kids who loved nothing more than showing off their snap lock bags containing up to four or five fish.
The Angling Section will be involved in two more clinics this year – in the April and September school holidays.
Clubs members can call Ray Wilson on 0411 239 272 for more details.