Kids fall for fish­ing hook, line and sinker

Gil­bert Run Park hosts free fish­ing class

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com

Some­times moth­ers know best, and there’s a good chance that Isa­iah Jor­dan will agree whole­heart­edly with that state­ment.

The 15-year-old ris­ing North Point High School sopho­more fished for the first time in his life Thurs­day dur­ing the first of sev­eral free fish­ing classes be­ing of­fered at Gil­bert Run Park in Dentsville and landed a class-high three fish.

“Oh, I love it,” said the White Plains res­i­dent fol­low­ing his first-ever catch of a bluegill. “My heart was rush­ing be­cause I was like, ‘I don’t want to drop the rod.’ I knew I was stronger than the fish and I went to reel it in and felt a big [tug], so I started reel­ing it in. Fish­ing takes pa­tience, a lot of pa­tience. I’m not pa­tient all of the time, but I feel now I can be a lit­tle more pa­tient.”

Though Jor­dan has found a new past­time — he also plays foot­ball and bas­ket­ball — he wasn’t keen on at­tend­ing and was en­rolled kick­ing and scream­ing.

“Oh, he had an at­ti­tude,” said Jor­dan’s mother.

“Orig­i­nally I was like, ‘Damn. Why? why?’” Jor­dan said. “My mom made me [at­tend], but all of a sud­den since I caught my first fish I have to let it go. I’m start­ing to re­ally like it.”

The free fish­ing class was the first of sev­eral the park will hold this sum­mer. Another one later this month is al­ready

filled and two more will be held in July and two more in Au­gust.

Thurs­day’s class had more than 25 young an­glers from Charles and St. Mary’s coun­ties.

“The wind to­day made it more chal­leng­ing be­cause it’s hard to tell if you get a bite and the lines were all tan­gling,” Gil­bert Run as­sis­tant man­ager An­thony Han­cock said. “I still think it was a suc­cess and they seemed to en­joy them­selves and I’m hope­ful they learned some­thing, whether it’s some­thing sim­ple like putting a worm on a hook or mak­ing an over­head cast or keep­ing their line tight. There’s al­ways

some­thing they’re go­ing to re­mem­ber like the rod slid­ing out or the rod fall­ing in the wa­ter or catch­ing a tur­tle. But that’s all fish­ing.”

Han­cock spent the first por­tion of the class ex­plain­ing the dif­fer­ent parts of the fish­ing rod and then demon­strated the drop cast, side cast and over­head cast.

“On the over­head cast you want to watch out for your buddy be­hind you or over­hang­ing trees,” said Han­cock, who then promptly ripped a cast through the leaves of an over­hang­ing tree.

Af­ter prac­tic­ing casts un­der the watch­ful eye of Han­cock and park as­sis­tant man­agers Dezi Collins and J.B. Kirscht, the young an­glers spread out along the banks.

Mo­ments later, bob­bers equipped with hooks and chunks of wig­gling earth­worms were pitched into the 60-acre lake as par­ents flinched.

“What can you ex­pect to catch be­side your­self?” Han­cock asked the class. “Cat­fish, bass and cat­fish, and please don’t catch any seag­ull or geese.”

But the lake wasn’t yield­ing much on this given day.

“[The fish are] very un­pre­dictable,” said Han­cock, who added he thought part of the rea­son was a re­cent al­gae bloom. “We’ve also had four days of ex­tremely warm weather and that will send the fish deep.”

Eyes grew wide when Han­cock an­nounced there’d be a bonus of a $100 bill for the first fish

caught. And then shoul­ders sagged when he said he was just kid­ding.

“I got some bites but didn’t get it though,” said 11-year-old Sara Robert­son of New­burg. “My big­gest fish I don’t know [how big it was] but it was on a pier at cat­fish on pier at Cap­tain Billy’s [Crab House] on shrimp.”

Bob­bers ere nudged and catches were missed, but the an­glers kept at it.

“I can’t be­lieve the fish got away again and again and again,” mut­tered 7-year-old Nigel Hugh of Wal­dorf as he headed back to the bait sta­tion for more worms.

This is the third year the classes are be­ing of­fered by Charles County recre­ation, parks and tourism. Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources ran

the class years.

“I don’t fish a lot, just a cou­ple times a year at my grand­fa­ther’s pond in Florida,” said Bren­dan Nagel, 8, of Bryan­town, who is tak­ing the class for the fourth straight year. His dream catch? A tiger shark. “The most im­por­tant [thing I’ve learned] is safety and how much fun it is. I like catch­ing fish be­cause you feel re­ally good about things.”

While the fish­ing was slow, the en­ter­tain­ment was not as an­glers were en­thused by a large flock of Cana­dian geese, the oc­ca­sional ap­pear­ance of a tur­tle and a North­ern wa­ter snake slowly cruis­ing along in the wa­ter.

“[What I’ve no­ticed] is kids prob­a­bly aren’t pa­tient enough, and they’re

the

first two reel­ing their line back in and not let­ting it sit,” Han­cock said. “We’re all us­ing bob­bers and they’re de­signed to just sit on the wa­ter and then [when you get a bite] you reel it in. But again, they get so ex­cited about cast­ing that they want to cast and then reel in and cast again.”

Lo­gan Gray pierced the quiet­ness with a holler when he wres­tled a bluegill onto the dock and posed for pic­tures.

Mo­ments later, Jor­dan landed his third fish of the day when he hooked a golden shiner. He pre­vi­ously caught a green sun­fish.

The fish may not have been bit­ing as much as the an­glers would have hoped, but Jor­dan sure was hooked.

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID

Isa­iah Jor­dan, 15, of Indian Head, right, tentatively reaches out to touch his fish be­ing held by Gil­bert Run Park as­sis­tant man­ager Dezi Collins dur­ing Thurs­day’s free fish­ing class. It was Jor­dan’s first-ever catch.

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