Bluefin Spotted & Future Anglers
Author note: This blog installment was penned by Michelle Gandola.
For a little twist, today's update comes in two parts.
First an important note: The SAC spotter plane has done it again. We have numerous member vessels fishing offshore this week and today our plane put them all on fish, all within 1-day range. The plane reported seeing some schools of jumping bluefin tuna across an area the size of three or four football fields. We haven't seen fishing like this all season.
Also, there are a large number of kelp paddies with good-size yellowtail in the same area. The SAC vessels are going to come back with some great numbers this week. It's time to break out your sashimi recipes!
Second, I want to talk for a moment about youth.
For the past several years the sportfishing fleets have seen a decrease in bookings. Some credit it to a bad economy and a couple years of poor fishing, but it's certainly possible that the decrease in anglers could be caused by fewer new fishermen entering the sport and hobby.
Fishing's historically been a tradition passed down from father to son. Yet many of the landings say this just isn't happening like it did 30 years ago.
With the change in our industry's traditional culture, many of the SAC-member landings and industry partners are looking for ways to get kids interested in fishing again. Fishing's a wonderful pastime that can be a teaching mechanism – not only in mastering a practical skill, but also in delivering life lessons in things like patience and camaraderie.
Dana Wharf Sportfishing is a great example of a company that uses its resources to get kids hooked on fishing. Dana Wharf offers a Kids Camp, which is a full 5 days of fishing aboard a Dana Wharf vessel, and the kids get to fish from 9am to 3pm. Space is limited to 25 kids and many parents say it's the best summer camp their kids have ever been to.
Dana Wharf's been offering this camp the past 3 years for children 9 to 14 years old. Captain Brain Woolley from the Sum Fun says, "This is what the future of the sport's all about – teaching kids how great sportfishing is. You can already tell these kids are hooked and will be fishing for the rest of their lives."
Dana Wharf and the fishing vessel Sum Fun are very proud to be a part of this camp.
Friends of Rollo is another wonderful program that links philanthropy and kids programs. This group focuses on taking disadvantaged, at-risk, disabled and low-income children on marine-awareness fishing excursions. The program has taken over 75,000 kids fishing at no cost to the child.
Throughout the SAC fleet there are several more examples of landings that help children discover sportfishing. Whether it's through discounted junior rates or special camps, children in California can discover the wonderful world of sportfishing.
They are the future of our industry and a lifetime of fishing is just one cast away.
The Sportfishing Association of California (SAC) was founded in 1972 by leaders in the Southern California sportfishing industry. The SAC promotes, advocates and lobbies for the interests of the Southern California sportfishing community under the mission to promote marine recreation and educational activities while protecting ocean resources. Michelle Gandola serves the SAC as director of PR and marketing. Visit CaliforniaSporfishing.org for more.