Fishings Generation Next!
The fishing industry is targeting "low hanging fruit". New angler recruitment has shifted from fishing for kids to landing college students who are already hooked. The purchasing path for a child is a long and winding road. College students are already on the superhighway to funding their fishing.
Since 2006, BoatUS ANGLER, Cabela's and the Collegiate Bass Championship have teamed up with the sports’ major players to provide product support, scholarships and even a job bank to help academic anglers hook up with industry leaders. Some college teams even have paid coaches! College student/fishermen... participating in record numbers... will be graduating, earning a living and spending money on the sport!
The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing (takemefishing.org) campaign is still in full gear. Efforts to get kids involved in fishing have been well intended and enthusiastically welcomed. Zebco's Sponge Bob Youth Fishing Kit brings a favorite cartoon character to an easy-to-use kid size fishing outfit with a buoyant floating handle just in case it goes overboard! Fish don’t care who is on the other end of the line. Big, small, young or old, fishing is a very forgiving sport and offers plenty of do-overs! But, life, sports teams and video games get in the way.
Fishing is a social sport. Spending quality time in a quality environment allows perfect interaction between parent and child. Ten minutes to ten hours, fishing is affordable in time and expense! There are really no excuses for creating fishing orphans. Taking another stab at delivering the fishing message to children, FishingKids (fishingkids.com) starts with the traditional heritage of reading to children. A colorful series of paperbacks like The Monster of White Bear Lake, where characters Spinner and Bobber attempt to stop the monster “before it’s too late!”, make reading time “fishing time”! Short stories allow kids to experience fishing outings as Spinner and Bobber travel to the Florida Keys for a special fishing trip with Spinner’s grandfather and Uncle Pete, as well as other angling adventures. FishingKids books provide outdoors interaction setting the stage for fishing memories and bonding! Kids struggling with reading, who love fishing, find the books riveting. Parents find them educational.
FishingKids academic package, with special pricing, are being explored in schools across the country!
Taking the adventure to the next step, action-fishing figures allow kids to act out their fishing trips! FishingKids characters Bobber and Spinner come to life to create fishing fantasies. Gear and accessories are available too! It won’t take long for kids to fill their tackle boxes, just like mom and dad!
Shirts, hats and a fishing vest allow special trips to develop into memories! FishingKids bloggers, kids and parents, cast their thoughts on-line about the books and fishing. "The Mystery of Porpoise Point is a really great book because I think that it inspires kids to be adventurous. The thing I learned from this book is that fishing isn’t just for boys; it’s for girls too. Last summer I went fishing with my dad. Fishing is tons of FUN! Morgan, age 8
Finally a complete family do-it-yourself. build-a-memory kit has been assembled to create traditions based on our outdoors heritage. Fishing is still about kids and getting them outdoors. Parents have always had the will, now there’s a way…it might take longer for these kids to buy a truck and boat, but the long-term investment and short-term enjoyment will last a lifetime.
With all of my trips, I start with the optimism of a new day, a memorable fishing and learning experience. I avoid excuses; rather I explain the degree of difficulty and how we can still catch fish. However, if I feel the conditions warrant cancellation of a trip, I offer this as an option. I have several clients who will go out no matter as the challenge has been laid down for them. Accept the challenge to take someone fishing!
I've written a piece in the BoatUS ANGLER Tacklebox on staying warm in cold weather outdoors!
My next BoatUS DIY column…modifying lures with dyes…blades, soft plastics and crankbaits!
Until next time, see you on the water. WEAR a PFD! I'm gone fishing.
Capt. Steve Chaconas
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