Bad weather was moving in again, as it had every time we tried to get the amazing kids of the Edna W. Runner Tutorial Center on the water fishing to no avail over the course of a year. Somehow the storms stayed everywhere else but the pier this time, and they finally got to catch some fish!
Take a look at the video below to get glimpse of the day, then read on to hear how it happened...
It was an awesome journey to this great day. Shark Zen's partnership with the Florida Fishing Academy made possible a ten week marine educational experience as a lead up and preparation for the fishing trip. During these high-energy classes the kids learned things like fishing and boating safety, the effects of invasive species, why not to believe the myths about sharks, and plenty more.
The education included an exciting relay race meant to teach kids how to put on a life jacket in a high-pressure situation. It also included fishing knot tying, the first of many lessons the kids would receive in line with the old proverb "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
When the day of the fishing trip finally arrived, the kids were more than ready. They prepped their lines, baited their own hooks, and took their strategic positions on the pier.
The kids were shown how to properly hold a fishing rod for the best leverage on a fish. They were taught about how to cast and position bait for optimal attraction. They were also taught one of the most important lessons of fishing: patience - and how to have fun even if the fish aren't biting.
Their patience paid off! The first fish caught was a mighty sand perch igniting one of the biggest smiles of the day.
After a drought of bites some of the kids were taught how to swing their bait under the pier where plenty of bait fish were hanging out. While they may not have been the biggest fish to catch, it was exciting to feel a fish on the line and reel it in. It also presented the opportunity to teach the kids how catching a small fish can lead to catching a bigger fish when it's used as bait.
It wouldn't have been a complete day without a visit from a wise local pelican positioning itself strategically after seeing the great results of these kids' fishing skills.
Thank you to the Edna W. Runner Tutorial Center for the beautiful work they do and allowing us to connect with their kids for such a memorable event. Thank you to the Florida Fishing Academy for providing an invaluable education about fishing and marine life that few have the opportunity to receive. And thank you to the customers of Shark Zen as your purchases are what made this ocean experience possible for the kids, as well as many more to come.
The next trip is in the making. We'll be taking a new group of kids out on a boat for an offshore fishing experience. Keep an eye on the Shark Zen blog for more to come.