Bemidji’s ‘Take a Kid Fishing’ Event Celebrates 35 Years
As fishing lines are starting to be cast for the summer season, some people are looking to introduce the popular hobby to a younger generation.
Bemidji’s Take a Kid Fishing event did so this week by celebrating 35 years on June 7. Despite windy conditions and some rough waves on Lake Bemidji, the volunteer-run group brought the joy of fishing to area kids.
“We get out on area lakes and we teach the sport of fishing, but also conservation,” explained Take a Kid Fishing Committee Member Joy Barclay. “Catch and release. Talk about the quality of the lake water.”
The annual events not only promote the hobby of fishing, but also reel in kids ages 10 to 15 who otherwise may not have the opportunity to participate in the activity.
“A lot of kids don’t have a chance to go out fishing and we provide the chance,” said Take a Kid Fishing Committee Member David Brinkmann. “Just get them out on the water. A lot of them never been out in a boat and stuff and they get to have fun.”
As this event takes place every year, organizers often see familiar faces return as participants or even as volunteers.
“A lot of them, they start when they’re 10 and go until they’re 15,” said Brinkmann. “A lot of them come back as guides and stuff.”
“It takes a village. It takes the community to pull together, to donate things and all of the guides to give up their own boats, their own time, gas and it’s just a lovely, lovely event,” said Barclay.
There are other Take a Kid Fishing events around Minnesota. One is planned at Upper Red Lake on June 10 and another is at Lake of the Woods on June 21.