A sleuth of local youth from the four-state area, all with high expectations of catching fish, were not disappointed as they cast their lines into the water.
As the red and white bobbers hit the surface of the pond, the floating corks immediately began to move, indicating some type of fish was nibbling on their baited worms. When the bobbers dipped below the water’s surface, multiple shouts from volunteers and parents alike came loudly.
“Pull it!” or “There it goes!” and “Jerk your pole!” were common phrases. The next shrieks of excitement were unanimous “I got one! I got one!”
All the young fishermen caught several fish, ranging in species from bluegill, catfish, and crappie. A big handful of the participants caught their first fish ever. Everyone knew when large fish were hooked when energized echoes of elation filled the air.
Many of the fish, because of their size, needed a net to land them on the pond bank. As each fish was safely secured, the youth were taught the importance of catch-and-release, and gained an appreciation for future kids, like them, to be able to catch the same fish another day.
After fishing, the kids, parents, and volunteers gathered around a campfire as roasted hot dogs, chips, and drinks were served. All the participants shared their stories of the fish they caught, the ones that got away, and how much they enjoyed the outing. Each youth took home a fisherman’s trophy to remind them of the memories.
It is not an exaggerated story to say they all “caught some fun.”
Young Outdoorsmen United hosted the event in Anderson, Mo., on Oct. 24. The independent volunteer group serves McDonald County and the four-state area. The organization’s goal is to “Build opportunities for youth and families to enjoy the outdoors thru hunting, fishing, shooting, and other related outdoors activities.”