For kids, the choice to jump headlong into fishing forever or to cast it aside like an old toy often distills down to a singular, special day on the water. Fishing chooses you, not the other way around. If it’s meant to be, something just clicks in the heart and mind of a youngster: That magical, unforgettable tug on the line and the grip-and-grin of a first fish. You’re captivated by the life in its eyes, fins and gills as it attempts to wiggle and slip free from your fingers. And then, contentment as you watch the creature swim gracefully back to the depths.
But what if you’re never given the opportunity to experience fishing for yourself?
Professional angler Grae Buck remembers those early adventures to local creeks and rivers with his grandfather. He recalls with a smile the profound impact those bullheads, bluegills and bass made on his life—and how they helped shape his future as an adult and a professional angler. So, three years ago, to assure kids in his neck of the woods might experience the same thrill of fishing he did, Buck and his wife Jessica organized a youth fishing event.