League Lines: Fishing for New Anglers

Brian Ray_Clean a Fish Seminar_Orange County Chapter

California >> The Orange County Chapter hosted its 11th annual Ike’s Kids Day at Irvine Lake this spring, which was attended by 233 Boy Scouts, Webelos, and Cub Scouts along with 140 Scout leaders and parents.

The event started with the arrival of 4,000 pounds of trout, which were released into Irvine Lake. The Orange County Chapter donated $1,000 toward the lake’s stocking program to help cover the cost of the fish, and the management team at Irvine Lake more than matched the donation.

While the lake was being stocked, the Scouts set up their camp sites and built fire pits. Orange County Chapter members visited each camp site to offer tips on how to pre-rig rods for the next morning’s fishing. This not only helps move the next day’s fishing seminars along more quickly but also gets the youth excited and gives them hands-on experience that they can use in the future.

Orange County Chapter members and the Irvine Lake Pro Team (experienced anglers who conduct fishing seminars and help beginners around the lake) provided a range of seminars for the Scouts the next day, including how to tie a fishing knot, how to fish from shore, how to clean a fish, and an introduction to the wildlife of Irvine Lake.

After the seminars, the Scouts and volunteers headed to the lake shore to throw out their lines. Tales of success and “the one that got away” soon filled the air. Members of the Pro Team and a few other volunteers manned a smaller catch-out pond near the lake entrance for youth who did not catch a fish in the lake. League members cooked and served more than 600 hot dogs, chips, and water to the crew of young anglers and their Scout leaders and parents. The trout they caught that day were on the menu for dinner.

League members and the Irvine Lake management team hope the weekend experience will “hook” these youth on fishing and the joys of the great outdoors.