A “Little Bit of Heaven” with the Angel Anglers

Category: press release

 Aug 19th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Aug 19th, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Alexandria, VA – August 19, 2008 – For 40 novice anglers from Boys & Girls Clubs around the country, having the opportunity to fish alongside the Bassmaster Elite Series professional anglers was an experience of a lifetime. The young anglers participated in the Future Fisherman Foundation's Youth Fishing competition held Saturday, August 2, in Buffalo, N.Y, during the Elite Series Empire Chase.

Krysta Johnson and Aaron Patterson of the Sanford/Lee County (North Carolina) Boys & Girls Club display their tournament winning bass. (Photo Future Fisherman Foundation)

The Future Fisherman Foundation, the angling education arm of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), is in its second year of a partnership with the Department of Justice Law Enforcement and Youth Partnerships for Crime Prevention initiative to implement the Future Fisherman Foundation's Hooked on Fishing-Not on DrugsĀ® program bringing fishing and aquatic education to Boys & Girls Clubs across the country. Each club selected its youth participants based on solid leadership, good behavior and demonstrated angling skills.

The teams traveled to Buffalo to compete alongside nineteen of the Bassmaster's Elite Series professionals known as the Angel Anglers. The Angel Anglers are committed to making a positive impact on the lives of kids through participation in fishing. The Angel Anglers program was launched four years ago to introduce young people to bass fishing who would not otherwise have an opportunity to participate.

Junior anglers Krysta Johnson and Aaron Patterson, both 13, of the Sanford/Lee County (North Carolina) Boys & Girls Club teamed up with the 2007 Bassmaster Elite Series Rookie of the Year Derek Remitz to win the youth fishing competition.

Remitz, Johnson and Patterson weighed in five fish with an overall weight of 14 pounds, 6 ounces to nudge out the team from Santa Monica, Calif. The tournament weigh- in was shared with the public through ESPN's live online feed.

Elite Series Pro Paul Elias chats with Parmanand Phaskanram of the Boys & Girls Club of Schenectady, New York, before heading out onto Lake Erie in search of smallmouth bass.

The winning team members said they enjoyed their time on the water with Remitz who also shared a few new angling skills. "He taught me how to cast and fish with a baitcasting reel," said Patterson. "I had a great time." Johnson added, "Derek showed me how to spot where fish are hiding and how to cast to them so you don't scare them and that makes catching fish much more fun." The 2007 youth competition champions, Suzette Martinez and Ingrid Camberos of Boys & Girls Clubs of South Bay (Calif.), returned both as junior instructors and to defend their title. They teamed up again with their 2007 partner, Elite Series pro Steve Kennedy, but were no match for the bag brought in by the Sanford/Lee County Boys & Girls club team.

"Last year was fabulous and this year was even better since we were able to bring more youth and pair them up with such fantastic pros," said Anne Danielski, Future Fisherman Foundation executive director. "I cannot say enough positive things about the Angel Anglers, BASS, ESPN and everyone associated with this event. The kids were so excited they had trouble sleeping and so did I!"

Danielski further said, "Although Johnson and Patterson were the official winners of the youth tournament, all of the young anglers returned home with new skills, new equipment, and guidance from a mentor and memories that will last a lifetime."

The event was a success thanks to the considerable support and donations provided by ASA member companies and partner organizations. Gear and program support were provided by BASS/ESPN Outdoors, Gemini Sport Marketing, Shakespeare, ZEBCO Brands, Plano Molding Company, FISHHER, TTI Blakemore Fishing Group, BoatU.S.Angler, Erie County Bassmasters, New York Sea Grant and Xtreme Glove. Danielski said, "The foundation thanks these angels as well for their generous contributions of equipment in support of this program."

To obtain copies of the photos, please contact the Future Fisherman Foundation at 703-519-9691.

For more information about becoming involved in youth angling programs, contact the Future Fisherman Foundation at 703-519-9691, www.futurefisherman.org.

The Future Fisherman Foundation is the angler recruitment and education arm of the American Sportfishing Association, the leading recreational fishing trade association. The Future Fisherman Foundation unites the sportfishing industry with a nationwide network of state outdoor educators, national conservation groups and youth organizations, offering a variety of fishing and boating programs, equipment and services to community groups and schools across the country. These efforts help people of all ages have safe and enjoyable fishing experiences that foster life-long conservation ethics.

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