Several years ago the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks adopted the slogan “Pass It On” to encourage outdoors enthusiasts to pass along the tradition of hunting and fishing to the next generation. There truly is no better way to experience the outdoors than by watching a youngster catch their first fish and I got to do just that Sunday afternoon at Hillsdale reservoir . With family in town visiting, beautiful warm spring weather, and some kids that have never been fishing in a boat before, it was a perfect opportunity to go pass it on.
My wife packed a picnic lunch for everyone and we headed off for the lake. With more kids than the boat would hold we had to split the day into a couple of shorter fishing trips; and while one group fished the others enjoyed playing in the park. The younger ones didn’t last long and were more excited about the driving around in the boat and playing with the minnows, but they still managed to boat a keeper crappie on their watch.
The older kids, however, were flat out impressive with their patience and enthusiasm for fishing. We stayed out far longer than I expected and yet they still didn’t want to go home at dinner time. I wish the catching would have been a little faster, but this time of year the crappie are all scattered out and bit harder to find in concentrations. We worked at it though and everybody got to catch a half dozen or so fish during the afternoon. Most importantly we captured some “First Catches” and a whole bunch of smiles.
The ‘big fish’ award went to my son, Kale, who hooked into this 26.5” monster walleye. This one bested any walleye I have ever caught in my many years of fishing for sure. Hard to say who was more proud!