The first two Saturdays of every month, LMC’s Juno Beach Pier staff leads Kid’s Fishing Programs to teach young anglers responsible fishing practices.
During their lessons, the students learn basics such as the various types of fishing rods, how to tie knots, how to bait their hooks, and how to cast from the pier. Especially important for us, are the conservation measures instilled. After a brief lesson in the classroom, we walk the half-mile from the center to the pier collecting trash accumulated in the wrack line along the way. Our students are always amazed by the amount of trash they can gather in a short, 15-minute walk. Once at the pier, staff focus on habitat protection, sea turtle rescue, the proper way to remove hooks and release fish, and the importance of recycling monofilament fishing line.
The last couple of lessons, our newest responsible anglers haven’t had much luck at the pier. Thankfully, the regulars, some of whom fish on the Juno Beach Pier every single day, are happy to help inspire the next generation. They can tell – by the wind, the weather, the season – what species of fish will be running and exactly where to catch them. If they notice a fishing class on the pier, they call us over when they have a fish on the line. They help the students reel the fish in, remove the hook, and allow the children to take a few quick pictures proudly holding ‘their’ catch. The kids listen so carefully when the pier’s regulars are teaching them – they know there is a lot to learn. At the end of the lesson, we thank the anglers for their help and leave them to their craft.
It is this kind of cooperation, passing on knowledge and traditions from seasoned anglers to kids who have never picked up a fishing rod before, that allows us to build relationships with the fishing community. We rely on them to keep the pier environment clean and healthy and to help us rescue incidentally hooked sea turtles when necessary. They know the environment best, they observe it every day, and we are grateful to have them on our team.
To register your child for a Kid’s Fishing Program or to book a Private Fishing Lesson (for children or adults), please contact Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org.