On Saturday April 5th, NPAA Member Nancy Koep # 323 conducted a fishing clinic at the Pope County Expo entitled ‘Fishing 101, the Basics for Kids’. ‘This was the first year I was asked to be a part of the Expo, so I was really not sure what to expect’, says Koep.
She was very pleased with the outcome, and had 27 kids in attendance. Koep covered many topics, including fish identification, casting, invasive species, knot tying, boat safety, and rules and regulations.
Each kid was given a knot tying tool and with the help of a few volunteers in the classroom, she explained how to tie the Berkley knot. ‘The kids caught on quickly to knot tying and a few even showed their parents how to tie a knot, says Koep’. During her seminar Koep also had a tackle box full of tackle and the kids had to come up and choose a item from the box. Then they discussed how to use it, and what type of fish you would catch with it. ‘I keep the tackle really simple, hooks, beetle spins, jig heads, etc, and explain to the kids that they don’t need to spend a lot of money to catch fish.’ says Koep. I want them to know for $10.00 they can buy enough tackle to fish off a dock, and still be able to have fun and catch fish’.
Boat safety was talked about with Nancy showing them different types of live vests and how to make sure they have the right one for their size. She ended her seminar talking about invasive species and the importance of clean, drain and dry. The parents that were there , also received a brochure from
the MN DNR with information on invasive species and how to stop the spread. She talked about all the lakes in the area that are invested and why it is important to know that information before you hit the lake. In addition she explained to the kids andparents about transporting bait from one lake to another, and what to do with your bait after you are done fishing.
After the seminar was over, each kid was able to receive a free fishing pole from the NPAA, identification cards on invasive species, bobbers, Kruger Farms bumper stickers, Clam Ice Team Pins, water bottles, and T-Shirts.
Special thanks to NPAA, Sea Grant, Kruger Farms, HSM Outdoors and Koep’s.