Fishing event at Wilson Point brings thrill of fishing to next generation
As we enter the thick of summer, and the steadily rising temperatures that come with it, we begin to see a familiar sight along the state’s waterways. Tucked under the comfort of a shady tree, we see families with fishing lines cast into the area’s many waterways, hoping to reel in a sunfish or a white perch or a croaker.
On Saturday, August 5, over 50 children will be exposed to this summer tradition with a Kid’s Fishing Day at Wilson Point Park. Sponsored by the EssexMiddle River Chapter of the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association, the event hopes to inspire a love
of fishing into children who have never ever held a rod before.
“Most of them have never fished before, they don’t have a clue, and some of the parents don’t either. So we walk them through everything they need to know and show them how to do this and do that,” said Bill Huppert, the treasurer of the Essex-Middle River chapter.
Every year, 50 new kids attend the event, along with a few dozen returnees. Adding the children’s families, Huppert expects a turn out of over 100 people. At the event, volunteers from the organization will teach children the fishing essentials, like how to tie knots, cast a line, and bait a hook. Every fish caught will be measured and be entered in a contest where the biggest fish takes home a prize.
All kids will receive a rod and reel combo along with a tackle pack to take home along with drinks and refreshments.
“We try to support our community by getting kids involved in fishing. We’re trying to pass this knowledge and passion of fishing to the generation that’s coming up,” said Huppert. “Once they know all about that, they begin to learn about how to take care of the Bay and how to keep it clean and help sustain an environment that’s good for fishing. We wanted to give that back.”
Pre-registration for the Family Fishing Day ends on July 31. For more information or to obtain a registration form, call Huppert at 410-335-9480.
The Essex-Middle River chapter boasts a membership of over 500 and is one of 13 branches of the MSSA, an organization that promotes measures to protect the Chesapeake Bay and local fishermen and fish species.
“The mission of MSSA is to provide a unified voice to preserve and protect the fisheries resources, the rights of recreational fishermen, and the opportunity to support activities that enhance the marine environment,” states the organization’s website.
For long-time fishermen and fisherwomen or newcomers to the sport, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources provides information on healthy habits to stay safe while protecting the area’s wildlife as you fish.
• Know fishing regulations, minimum sizes and limits. • Use heavy tackle and
bring fish in quickly. • Have dehookers, pliers, gloves, net, gripping devices, and camera ready. • If fishing from shore be prepared to wade into the water to meet the fish and avoid dragging it up onto dry sand. • Flatten barbs on hooks and use circle hooks when you fish with natural bait. • Avoid catch and re- lease of medium and large striped bass in freshwater warmer than 65-70-Degrees.
Handling Your Catch
• How to hold a fish • Keep your fish in water
if possible. • Use rubber or soft
mesh landing nets. If you must handle fish: • Use wet protective
gloves. • Do not lift fish verti
cally by jaw or gills. • Do not allow fish flop on boat deck or ground. • Hold fish horizontal
with support. • Return fish to water
quickly. • Removing the Hook • Remove hook when
ever possible. • Have proper tools handy and know how to use them. • Be quick and careful. • Releasing the Fish • Return fish quickly and
gently. • Move exhausted fish slowly through water to force water through the gill