Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Teach a Youngster How to Fish


Expert Author Jeffrey Tombaugh

In my personal opinion, there is nothing more rewarding than to teach a youngster how to fish. I do not have any children but I was very lucky to have a much younger brother. When he was just a couple years old he would look at me when I was all decked out in my fishing gear and ask "Can I come?" I would look back at his big smiling face and say, "very soon, it is too cold for you today." I would bring home the fish to show him and tried to teach him the difference between species. Soon, he would not only look at the fish but also would say, "brown trout" or "sunfish" or "perch." At a very young age my little brother not only knew what a fish was but he knew their common names. Shortly after this, he too became an avid fisherman and one day when he was still a youngster he caught a fish that he could not identify and neither could I. It looked like some kind of tropical fish to me but it was caught in the Army Corps of Engineer pond by the South Pier across from Presque Isle State Park in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Not exactly where you would expect to catch a tropical fish. He pulled the fish out of the water and said enthusiastically, "what'd I catch?" I did not have a clue so we took the fish to the Pennsylvania Fish Commission for identification. I cannot recall what the fish was, however, it was a tropical fish that somehow got in the pond; either a Jack Dempsey or Oscar. Anyhow, I was proud that my little brother would not keep any fish that he could not identify, he wanted me to check it out before tossing it in the bucket. It is important that we teach youngsters fish identification skills, as well as, teach them to fish. It is really great that around Pennsylvania we have areas where only children can fish. Here they can be taught by adults how to fish and even catch a few because they don't have to worry about the adults catching all of the fish.
Tom Loftus, a friend of mine, wanted me to write an article about the Wesleyville Conservation Club and what they do to help kids learn how to fish for trout. The Wesleyville Conservation Club maintains a local trout hatchery in North East PA and raises trout to be stocked in area waterways, including Four Mile Creek which is designated as an under 16 fishing program. They would like fisherman to be aware of who this trout stocking program is designed for. The trout stocking program is designed to benefit kids and senior citizens through the first two weeks of regular trout season.
Many local kids in Wesleyville and Lawrence Park do not have the opportunity to trout fish elsewhere. Please leave the trout stocked in between Route 5 and Buffalo Road to the kids to fish for and for senior citizens to pursue. The Four Mile Creek Kids Program works on the honor system so please give the kids the opportunity to have fun the first couple weeks of the season. The creek is going to be stocked the night before opening day with roughly 1000 brown trout and a good amount of palominos (golden trout). I visited the hatchery and saw some fine fish.
According to Rob Sanford, the Raceway Manager, the average fish is between 11 and 14 inches. The club is going to restock Four Mile in season on the Friday after the opener with the same number of fish again.
The Wesleyville Conservation Club is in the Cooperative Nursery Program and part of the local trout organization 3-CU. If you would like to donate to this wonderful non-profit organization, you can purchase skein to be used to raise more trout from East End Angler on East Lake Road in Harborcreek.
Children under the age of 16 do not need to buy a fishing license to catch trout in Four Mile Creek but must follow the general regulations that are in the 2009 Pennsylvania Fish Commission's guide.
If you are an out-of-towner and would like a great place to bring your kids fishing, consider bringing them on opening day to Four Mile Creek. It is very rewarding teaching a kid to fish and with so many trout being stocked, they are sure to bring some home. If you need a place to stay, Jackie at the Lighthouse Inn and Restaurant will give you $5.00 off their regular low hotel rate. Just mention this article to receive the discount. They are located on East Lake Road directly to the east of Four Mile Creek.
If you are from out of town and need directions to Four Mile Creek, please email me and I will get them out to you. May your kid's lines be tight and their hooks be happy!
Jeffrey Tombaugh is a resident of Erie, Pennsylvania and an avid sportfisherman. He maintains a new blog which continually updates the fishing opportunities surrounding Erie, Pennsylvania. You can read his blog at Photographs pertaining to his fishing articles can be seen on his blog. The Wesleyville Conservation Club article was published in his blog on March 18, 2009.

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