Today I got the honor of representing myself, Tru Tungsten and the rest of my sponsors by helping out at the Cabela's Kids Fishing Event. At first I didn't really know what to expect from this and actually had a little bit of anxiety toward it. This definitely struck me as odd because I've done numerous fishing events and have never had a problem, in fact I'm actually pretty good at them. My years of experience in the hospitality industry as well as my true love for fishing makes gabbing about it quite easy, though the idea of entertaining children was actually a little intimidating. Not all these kids get the opportunity to get out and fish and I really wanted to be sure they had an awesome time. They are the next generation of our sport and enthusiasm starts now.
The Cabela's, located in Owatonna, MN, has two private ponds that are stocked with both bluegills and largemouth bass. Cabela's provided all the rods, reels, tackle and bait as well as a free lunch for all the children and family. My job was to walk around the ponds and help out in any way I could, mostly by taking fish off, retying rigs, untangling lines and of course putting nightcrawlers on hooks.
I couldn't believe how many kids showed for this opportunity and better yet just how many fish were caught. I'm talking more slab sunnies than I could imagine and one little girl even caught close to a 3 pound largemouth bass, her first to say the least.
I stayed more than busy and really truly enjoyed myself. There is nothing better than watching kids become hooked on fishing right in front of my eyes. So much of my fishing career is selfish and all about me and how I can be better. It is far more rewarding watching kids fall in love with fishing than to cash a check at a big tournament. It reminded me of when I was a kid and how much I purely loved fishing before the money, sponsors and reputation got involved. To be honest it was humbling and I am very blessed I got the opportunity to be involved. Hats off to Cabela's for providing this free event, here's a company that truly cares and stops at nothing to give back to the outdoors.
Next year when this event comes around again, I'll be sure to do a better job of notifying my followers on my site, via Star Tribune's Outdoor Page and both Facebook and Twitter.