Seminar draws great cast of volunteers to Lakewood Ranch.
Lakewood Ranch's Caleb Caserta ran from his casting lesson, laughing all the way to the next station at the "Learn to Fish Seminar" at Summerfield Park on Feb. 10.
"I will never forget this day," he said of the event, which was presented by the Lakewood Ranch Anglers Club and Lakewood Ranch Community Activities.
Jeanette Wirz, the president of the Lakewood Ranch Anglers Club, was glad to hear how excited he was about fishing. But she hopes Caleb, and the approximately 115 other children who attended, have many more great days with a fishing pole in their hand.
"It's one sport you can use your whole life," Wirz said. "It's a constructive way to spend your time.
"And just looking at those faces is priceless."
Participants were asked to complete four stations of instruction, and once doing so, they received a free pole and reel provided by Fish Florida.
The event will be followed by the "Youth Fishing Tournament" on Feb. 17 from 9 a.m. to noon at Lake Uihlein. Ages 5-15 are eligible and registration begins at 8 a.m. A $10 fee is charged and it is limited to first 100 anglers. Preregistration is held at lwrcac.com/fish.
New fishermen such as Greenbrook's Finley Stark, 5, were having fun getting a little instruction so they could get out on the lake and try the real thing.
"She has a little, pink reel at home," said Finley's dad, Wayne Stark. "She can't wait to use it. And I think fishing will teach her patience and will get her outdoors."
Lakewood Ranch Anglers Club volunteer John Schleicher had a great reason for kids to fish.
"It's an entertainment that gets them off the computer," he said.