Brooke Meldrum with her Take a Kid Fishing catch of the day last year

Take a kid fishing

by Ann van Engelen

Dave Denton started the Take a Kid Fishing day some thirty years ago as part of an initiative to get children off the couch.

“This free event is this Sunday, October 20 at the Groynes Lakes, 2 Groynes Drive off Johns Road. We encourage under-eight-year-olds start at 9am and under 18-year-olds fish from 1pm onwards,” says Dave.

“The Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust has again generously donated hundreds of young salmon to be released into the lakes, along with a number of large trout.

“No registration or fishing licence is necessary for the day and adults may assist but are not permitted to fish. There are volunteer anglers to help anyone that needs it.

“Take a Kid Fishing started in the USA in 1987. A presidential proclamation to hold a National Fishing Week was issued by Ronald Regan. The programme followed soon after in the UK, and in 1988 The NZ Future Fishing Foundation was formed with Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother as patron.

“Our key objective is to give children a sense of confidence and self-worth by involving them with their families in a healthy outdoor pursuit. They are taught practical skills and develop personal qualities such as confidence, self-esteem, communication, discipline and cooperation with others.

“The morning is set aside for children 12 years and under. At all the lakes, skilled volunteer anglers will give advice and help. A chef will show people how to clean, prepare and cook it. If you don’t have gear, we have loan equipment and bait. If you have a rod and a few worms in the garden, please bring some in case we are short as this will save time and resources.

There will be caravans on-site with food and drinks for sale.

“Children love it, and we get an enormous amount to happiness seeing the sheer bubbling joy when a child catches a fish as many haven’t done it before, it is a very special thing.

“Take a Kid Fishing has no barriers — all children are welcome.”