Billy Larson, 12, was born and raised in the city by a single parent, his mother. “Fish” was something you bought at the grocery store. Fishing? What is that?
For Billy and hundreds of city kids like him, fishing is not cool or something you do today. Unless someone teaches you. Thus was born South Bay “Fishing In the City” for Kids. Since 1995, South Bay Fishing in the City has taught thousands of local children 5 to 15 on how to fish through in-school programs and fishing clinics at various Santa Clara County and San Jose City parks. The program also provides children an appreciation of the outdoors, and promotes a sense of stewardship of parks, fishing and the environment as a whole.
The Bay Area Sportfishers (BASF) club of San Jose, CA is one of the major sponsors of South Bay Fishing In the City For Kids. Approximately 130 kids and their parents came to fish for planted trout recently at Sandy Wool Lake in Milpitas. BASF club members showed kids how to bait the hook, cast and catch fish. “We’re proud to be a long time sponsor of these free fishing events for kids in our community,” said Steve Ondry, long time member of BASF. ”Many kids have never fished before so this is an opportunity to introduce them to the joy of fishing and to the great outdoors.”
“Our club provides both funds and volunteers for these events,” said Ondry. “You can’t believe how excited kids get catching their first fish. We get excited watching them have fun.”
Children are loaned a rod and reel, tackle box and bait. Volunteers show them the basic techniques and provide help when needed. Local waters are typically planted with trout and/or catfish courtesy of the Fish and Game Department.BASF is one of the oldest fishing; the oldest is 91.
“We fish all over Northern California for all kinds of fish in both fresh and salt water,” said Larry Hayes, club president. “We fish for stripers in San Luis Reservoir. Salmon and rock cod out of Santa Cruz, Monterey and Half Moon Bay. White bass in Lake Nacimiento. Trout and bass in Los Vaqueros. Sturgeon in the Sacramento River and San Francisco bay.” “We also go crabbing and hunt for mussels out of Half Moon Bay,“ said Hayes. “We’re a fun, social group who love teaching kids and adults to fish, and happy to share that knowledge with everyone.”
If you enjoy fishing, or would like to introduce your child to fishing, contact Pete Sasur at 408.568.7110 for more information. Monthly club meetings and outings provide a wide variety of activities for both the experienced fisherperson and first timers. Picnics and parties are held throughout the year. Learn more: www.bayareasportfishers.com.