NPAA Members Share Their Passion
Sep 30th, 2013 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Sep 30th, 2013 at 12:00 AM
This has been a gratifying year for NPAA Member Nancy Koep as she has shared her passion for fishing with young anglers. In early March, NPAA Members Nancy Koep # 323 and Philip Forbord # 886, put on a kids Fishing clinic for 25 students of the Minnewaska Area School. Students involved in the program ranged from 9-13 years old. This was a 3 hour seminar that Nancy hosted for the kids with help from the Let’s Go Fishing Youth Program that Koep is the Youth Coordinator for. They started the clinic with Phil giving all the kids a tour of his Lund Boat. He was able to use sonar units put on simulator mode, so the kids could get a good feel of what these units looked like and how they work. He also showed them and explained, the kicker motor, trolling motors, Livewells, bilge pump, rod holders, and stressed the importance of the life jackets. After that was over, the kids went back to the class room to start learning.
Koep started with explaining the different fish families. Next she explained the concerns surrounding Aquatic Invasive Species. “I think it’s very important that our young get educated on all the invasive species and the impact it can have on our lakes. If we can educate them, they can help educate their Dad’s, Grandpa’s, uncles, brothers and sisters”, said Koep. After talking about invasive species they moved on to boating basics, MN boating regulations, proper use of life jackets, and how to be a good sportsman on the lake and in school at home, and everywhere in between. Koep had a basic tackle box, she showed it to the kids and explained the basic’s you need to fish. “I like to emphasize that you don’t need $400 worth of tackle in your tackle box to catch fish, just the basics”. Koep feels that way, kids will realize that with a simple bobber, weight and hook they can catch fish. All the kids were given a fishing pole and small tackle box from the Let’s Go Fishing Program. Nancy went on to show them how to set up a slip bobber rig on their poles, as the kids followed along putting one on their poles as well.
After the kids finished the clinic the second part was signing up to go fishing on the pontoon. The kids had to commit to going out on the Let’s Go Fishing Pontoon at least 3 times for the duration of the program. Each outing consisted of two hours of fishing, laughs and smiles. Nancy took out the kids 10 times in June and 1 time in August. Phil also attended 4 of the outings with the kids. Fishing was amazing, we were catching anywhere from 10 to 45 fish an outing, with the majority of fish released back into the lake. On the most memorable night the kids caught 45 fish, with a 22 and 24 inch walleye. “The always hungry bass and panfish provided most of the entertainment”, said Koep. For many it was their first time fishing. As with any youth fishing program, the smiles on their faces say it all when they catch a fish!!