As a boy raised on the dry plains of west Texas, I never had much of an opportunity to go fishing. However, I relish those times had with my parents when we went fishing. My mom, especially, was a great angler and could match catching crappie with the best around. I cannot recall many trips to the lake when we didn't catch a cooler full. I will always appreciate the love of God and the outdoors that my parents have instilled in me.
We, as anglers, must and should take a more active role in spreading the wealth of knowledge we have acquired in our sport. I have never been much of an activist, but volunteering time toward shaping young minds and attitudes will be crucial to save our waters and help establish appreciation and a reverence with our woods and waters.
I have a junior high bass club where I teach more than 75 members. We take field trips to the Texas Fish Hatchery and see the "Share a Lunker" program.
Bass Pro Shops in Garland, Texas, is one of the club's sponsors and provides many prizes given at our year-end tournament.
With the rise in popularity of high school fishing, there is an on-going need for area bass anglers to volunteer their time and knowledge to help students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the joys of fishing. Terry Peacock (NITRO Pro) said, “It was one of the most rewarding days on the lake, even though I did not make a cast.”
Some schools are implementing teaching outdoor education curriculum, which includes archery, water ecology and basic fishing. This is great, but the real impact of these courses will only be seen when we see active participation by angling groups, bass clubs and the fishing industry.
It is too easy today for our children to stray from beliefs that have been long established in our country. They are hungry for things that deal with nature and the simple connection that begins between an adult, a child and a fish.
Steve is a member of the Bass Pro Shops pro staff representing the Garland, Texas, Outdoor World. He is also a member of The Nitro Fishing Team. He represents Z-Man Bait Company, Gambler Lures, Tracker Marine, and Mercury. He has been active in bass tournaments and the fishing industry for more than 20 years. You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out his web site at www.stevehollandfishing.com.