Fishing and Boating News,
and Tips for the Outdoorsman around the USA
ON FISHING INT'L GETS RETAILER'S INCREASED SUPPORT
Wal-Mart ups its support for Kids All-American Fishing Derbies
KETCHUM, OK - Last year more than 100,000 youngsters
fished, many for the first time, in a Kids All-American Fishing
Derby. In 2002 the number of young derby anglers will grow to
nearly 400,000, thanks to a major commitment to the program by
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The announcement was made by Gordon
Holland, executive director of Hooked on Fishing International (HOFI),
the Ketchum, Oklahoma organization that has, for sixteen years,
managed the derby program that introduces the sport of fishing
to young people.
"Wal-Mart has asked us to organize a derby in communities
where there is a Wal-Mart store," said Holland. The
majority of the events will be held Saturday, June 8, during
National Fishing and Boating Week, and will conclude Wal-Mart's
new Take a Kid Fishing Week activities consisting of parking lot
casting and reeling contests, coloring contests and scavenger
hunts. These efforts are in conjunction with the Recreational
Boating and Fishing Foundation's "Water Works Wonders"
campaign. The RBFF is instrumental in coordinating
National Fishing & Boating Week, June 1-9, 2002.
"Thanks to the support and the commitment of the supplier
sponsors and the Kids All-American Fishing Derby program, this
will be the most exciting kids' fishing event that Wal-Mart has
ever conducted," said Mike McFadden, VP DMM, Sporting
Goods, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Last year the program provided materials to and was involved
with over 700 derbies in all 50 states with support by its
title sponsor, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and more than a dozen
other companies with prominent brands. Adult groups interested
in organizing a local derby can get information from the HOFI
web site - www.kids-fishing.com,
or by requesting information via email at email@example.com,
or by writing Hooked On Fishing International, P O Box 660,
Ketchum, OK 74349.
GIFT ADVICE FOR PARENTS
KETCHUM, OK -- Young people often ask Santa to bring them
fishing tackle -- rods, reels, bobbers, line, hooks and lures.
Parents, particularly those who are not anglers themselves,
might wonder. Is their child old enough to fish? Is the fishing
tackle safe, or age-appropriate?
Hooked on Fishing International (HOFI), which annually sanctions
more than 700 Kids All-American Fishing Derbies across the U.S.,
has prepared a few tips for parents and Santa.
* The ideal starter fishing set for kids is a "combo"
package with a matching rod and spin-cast reel. The youngest
little anglers love to learn on rod and reel sets endorsed by
their favorite cartoon character.
* Will your child be able to cast the rod and reel? This depends
on the child, of course, but HOFI recommends that you go ahead
and authorize Santa to put it under the tree. Like a child grows
into a pair of jeans, yours will learn to use the rod and reel
and eventually cast like a pro. A shorter rod is easier to
handle than a long rod and a good rule of thumb is that the rod
should be no taller than the child.
* Another great gift idea is a personal tackle box for your
young angler, especially one that's pre-loaded with sinkers,
bobbers, plastic minnows, a stringer and such.
* And, for the older child with more advanced skills, a new lure
can make great a stocking stuffer.
* To make sure Santa brings the exact item or items on your
child's list, take the child to a well-stocked fishing
department, like Wal-Mart's, so the young person in your family
can point out the items he or she wants Santa to bring.
Gordon Holland, HOFI executive director, cited a recently
released study from the Sporting Goods Manufacturing
Association. Between 1990 and 2000, according to
"Teens & Sports in America", an average of 6.5
million children from 12 to 17 participated annually in
freshwater fishing, making fishing the most popular outdoor
activity with teens. "We still have a lot of work to
do," said Holland. "The SGMA report notes that the
next big bulge of consumers -- more than 70 million -- are under
the age of 18, which means we will need to introduce the fishing
experience to lots of new kids in the years to come."
"We salute all of the host organizations who have made our
kids fishing derby program the biggest fishing event for kids in
the country. They are the ones who should take credit for
bringing freshwater fishing to this level of popularity among
teenagers," continued Holland.
Using an all-in-one kit provided by HOFI, parks and recreation
departments, civic groups like Optimists and Kiwanis clubs, and
many federal and state agencies including the U. S. Forest
Service, host these derbies in the spring and summer months.
The derby kit includes a helpful guidebook, banner, posters,
entry forms for several nationwide contests, goodies for the
kids, and lots of prizes including a tackle box and two reel and
rod combos, and plenty of product samples from the
HOFI is issuing its last call for adult groups to reserve a kit
to organize an event in 2002. To order an
information/application brochure online, go to
Organizations may also receive additional information by
contacting HOFI at
or in writing, addressing the envelope to Hooked On Fishing
International, P O Box 660, Ketchum, OK 74349. Requests to host
2002 events must be received by December
The 2002 season of the Kids All-American Fishing Derby will mark
the sixteenth year that Hooked on Fishing International has
sanctioned the celebrated youth program with the support of
America's top companies, led by title sponsor Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc. Sponsoring brands include Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Southwest
Airlines, Fujifilm, Dubble Bubble Bubble Gum, Laker by Jadico,
Trilene, Eagle Claw, Zebco, Berkley PowerBait, and
Sportsman Seminar Series -
|Salt Water Sportsman
Magazine’s Senior Editor George Poveromo, Evinrude Outboard Motors, Captain
Harry’s Fishing Supply, Moldcraft Lures and the Bahamas
Ministry of Tourism sponsor a fishing
expedition to Bimini each year. This trip is one I look forward
to because of the location, camaraderie and the learning
experience provided by having such knowledgeable anglers who are
willing to help everyone catch fish.
We left Port Everglades the morning of May 31, 2000 for my third
crossing to Bimini. I was making the crossing in Rock Boat II, a
33 foot Intrepid, with friends and fishing buddies, Captain
Richard Delizza, Dino Barone, Jimmy Darrah and Lou Greenwell.
As we cleared the jetties and nosed the boat eastward we knew it
was going to be a rough ride from the building swells and the
look of the sky. After about half an hour, Captain Rich decided
that the conditions were not right for the crossing so we turned
around and headed back. Just outside of the port we paused and
discussed the situation and decided to head south along the
beach to Government Cut. This would keep us sheltered and allow
time for the weather to pass and also put us a little closer to
When we arrived at Government Cut we re-evaluated the weather
and determined the situation had improved so we again headed
toward the islands. The seas as expected were "Higher in
the Stream" and the ride was wet from both salt spray and
rain. After a rough, wet and long ride Captain Rich brought us
safely into the marina at the Bimini Big Game Club, which would
be our home for the next four days.
After clearing customs, checking into our rooms, putting on some
dry clothes and a brief recuperation we decided to go "Out
Front" and fish!
We headed out of the harbor watching the bottom drop away on
the depth finder. About a mile off we idled the engines and put
out our first set of lures to drag through the
beautiful deep blue water. Within a few minutes we had observed
a Sailfish jumping in the distance so we trolled in that
direction. Thirty minutes or so had passed and we were up
"Off the Pines" when the left flatline pole did a
couple of jerks. Captain Rich looked back and saw a Sailfish in
hot pursuit of the flatline lure. Lou grabbed the pole, dropping
the lure back and the Sail ate it. The fight was on and Mr. Sail
was not going to come
easily. Jumping, running and jumping some
more, it was a beautiful sight. Lou was slowly winning the
battle. He had brought the fish near the boat but the fish wasn’t
finished yet. He started another jumping run and ran his bill
into the side of the boat popping the rub rail molding out of
its track! WOW! What a fish! After a few more minutes Lou had
brought the sail to the side of the boat for a quick measurement
(6-1/2 ‘ approx. 50 pounds) and Captain Rich released him
unharmed to be caught again. We were all laughing and slapping
high five’s to congratulate each other on a great job.
Each member of the Rock Boat II’s crew has a job when a
fish is hooked. To watch this group clearing lines, pulling in
teasers, raising outriggers and clearing the deck and gunwales
in under a minute for the guy fighting the fish is pure teamwork
We decided to call it a day and head back for a relaxing
evening at the Big Game Club and maybe a walk through
"downtown" Alice Town, Bimini.
That evening we attended the kick off meeting and ate the buffet
dinner provided for the registered participants. We then headed
"Up dis a way". This was Jimmy Darrah’s first trip
to Bimini so we needed to provide an orientation tour. Our first
stop was "The End of the World Bar" which to our
surprise had undergone a complete renovation and transformation.
Gone was the Fish 4 Fun shirt I had stapled to the ceiling last
year and so was all the other underwear, clothing and whatever
else that had been hung up there. We had a drink and went out
back to find a graffiti wall that is covered with many
thoughtful and philosophic phrases and dates. Lou grabs a marker
and goes to work. Once he got started it was hard to stop him,
he must have written at least ten messages to immortalize the
Rock Boat II and crew. I decide to leave my Fish 4 Fun shirt
am wearing so off it comes and Lou jumps up on a chair and
staples it to the ceiling. That was enough for the first night
so back to the Big Game Club we go to prepare for the next day
and get some sleep.
Thursday morning, the Captain and crew decide to go south. We
trolled all day down off Cat Cay. We followed some birds and had
one knockdown. When we reeled in to check the bait, a bent hook
point was found. Not much fishing action today.
Thursday evening we ate a good dinner provided for the
participants in the Big Game Club's Gulf Stream Restaurant and
then walked down to "The Compleat
Angler" for a beverage and to try our luck at the local
game of skill. A ring on a string is suspended from the ceiling
and on the wall about 12 feet away is a hook. The object is to
swing the ring like a pendulum across the room so that it ends
up on the hook. Believe it or not all five of us accomplished
this in about a fifteen-minute period. I have never been able to
do it before! The Compleat Angler is a place Ernest Hemingway
frequented and is filled with pictures and writings of his
fishing exploits in Bimini and a model of his boat the "Pilar".
A must place to visit and spend some time when you visit Bimini.
Friday we had planned to head north and fish around Great
Isaac near the New Providence Channel. As we headed north we
could see a large group of thunderstorms and a waterspout. We
decided to put in our lines and troll awhile off of "North
Point" to give the storm time to move. It wasn’t long
when the the long left rigger was hit and carried toward the
short right creating a belly of slack in the line. The right rigger line
released next to me. I grabbed the rod
and feeling the fish, I set the hook. Bang! the line snapped.
Almost immediately the starboard rigger goes off. Jimmy Darrah
grabs the rod and sets the hook. The pole bends under the load,
it’s a big fish but Jimmy shows him who's in charge! It’s a
37-pound Dolphin and it’s in the
box. We decide to fish this area the rest of the day. We catch
two more 18 to 20 pound dolphin and put them in the box for the
seafood cookout tonight.
we made the run up to Great Isacc and trolled all day with very
little action other than another knockdown and a few Barracuda.
We listened on the radio to a battle going on with a 250 lb Blue
Marlin which was brought to leader and released. A nice 55 lb
Kingfish was caught aboard George Poveromo’s boat. Today's
fishing ended in a driving rain and thunderstorm as we entered
evening was the Awards Presentation where some nice Plaques and
Carey Chen Prints were given out as awards. Our Sailfish held
out as the biggest for an award but our dolphin was beat by 4 or
Saturday evening we had dinner at the Anchorage. The food and
service at the Anchorage was very good. The Anchorage was the
Lerner family (Lerner Shops) home when they were here on Bimini.
Mike Lerner was an avid fisherman in the 1930’s. A great
finish to four days of fishing!
The trip back to Port Everglades Sunday was smooth and
comfortable. As we headed west, we kept looking back as we
watched the Island disappear below the horizon, knowing we would
return next year.. The return trip
took less than 1-1/2 hours.
All in all there were a lot of fish caught. Dolphin, Wahoo,
Kingfish, Grouper, Snapper, Sailfish, Marlin, Triggerfish,
Yellowfin Tuna, Blackfin Tuna, Barracuda and more……… It
was a great trip and if the group keeps growing we may need a
A special thank you to George Poveromo and the sponsors,
Evinrude Outboard Motors, Captain Harry’s Fishing Supply,
Moldcraft Lures and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism for their contributions in making this such a
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