Our last 4 H meeting was in May. We did a Community Service Project in June. July we take off every year. I had planned on doing a meeting in August but time got away from me. Last year when we did the Hook Line and Sinker program at Grandview, the children were disappointed that we were not able to fish in the pond out there. So I promised that we would have an opportunity to do so this year.
When we were getting ready for district competition last spring, one of our agents told me about the Reel Into Sports Fishing project area and competition. It sounded like something my boys would be interested in and other members of my club as well. I started gathering information on it and planned a meeting at Grandview that we could discuss this project area and the children would have an opportunity to fish.
There are 4 parts to Reel Into Sports Fishing Competition:
1) Angling Skills-learn to tie 4 knots and diagram a bobber and bottom fishing rig
2) Tackle Skills- study tackle and their uses, learn to build your own survival kit and identify 5 articles in the kit
3) Aquatic Ecology- answer questions about fish, water temperature, the water cycle, and label 5 parts of a fish
4) Be able to identify 5 Fish
The are several resources for 4hers who are interested in this project area and competition. There is a really neat project guide called Take the Bait that has all kinds of activities and information. Also, Arkansas Game and Fish have two publications that can help children learn the information they need to know, The Beginners Fishing Guide and the Arkansas Sport Fish Identification Guide.
We started the meeting out (after taking care of club business) by talking about the project area and the 4 different parts it has. We also talked about the Activity Guides. Then Nick and Aex demonstrated the different knots. Art rigged me up an eye bolt attached to a block of wood and a rope so we could show the knots easier than with fishing line. The instructions to tie the knots were in the Take The Bait guide, but we also looked them up on youtube.
Next we talked about different kinds of tackle and what it is used for. We talked about the different parts of diagramming a fishing pole, and some of the different kinds of fish. I handed out Beginner's Fishing Guides for the children to take home with them. We also gave out the Sports Fish identification guides and the Arkansas fish guides. That took a little over 30 minutes, leaving us with about 45 minutes to fish.
Grandview supplied the fishing poles, all we needed to bring was bait. One of the parents has a worm bed and dug up enough worms for 10 children, and I brought our leftover worms from fishing last week-end. Grandview offered to give us prizes, so we decided the first fish and the biggest fish would get a prize.
Nicholas caught the first fish and another little boy caught the biggest fish.
Those were the only two fish caught! Their prize was a tackle box with a hat, catfish bait, and a stringer.
We had a lot of fun!