Reporting Holly Wagner
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota DNR is hosting its annual Take a Kid Fishing weekend, which means as long as you have a child with you who’s under age 16, you don’t need a license to fish.
On Friday, a group of volunteers in Blaine tried to hook a few new anglers.
More than 40 people spent part of their day helping with the Reel ‘Em In Kids project. They repaired and fixed up hundreds of broken, old or unused fishing rods, which will be given to families in need and nonprofits like the one Woody Sankey runs, Simply Outdoor Experiences.
“We can’t afford to go buy new gear all the time,” Sankey said.
Sankey will get 50 new rods and tackle boxes for their kids programs.
In the last three years they have put on activities for 37,000 kids from Waconia to Nissau.
Sankey says the time and effort put in provides much more than the donation – it’s the gift of an experience.
“When they bite on the other the end of the line, you don’t know what it’s going to be — kinda like a present everytime,” Sankey said. “Everybody’s heart jumps, I don’t care if you are 80-years-old or 5-years-old.”
Tom Goodrich, of the nonprofit Fishing for Life, started the event five years ago. He says fishing competes with any video game in the world.
“These kids are turned on to this outdoor experience,” he said. “It’s needed, and I love to see the kids do that.”
More than 1,000 fishing poles will be given out thanks to the Reel ‘Em In Kids project.