The America Cup encourages all clubs, schools, townships, organizations, and nations to offer youth angling programs. Youth programming will educate youth about clean water, environmental stewardship, and the importance of sports fishing. The America Cup promotes Youth Fishing Programs.
Youth and their parents or caretakers can come together with community volunteers for a fun day of fishing they may not otherwise experience. These programs provide a refreshing break from their daily challenges. Spreading a positive message that kids can accomplish anything, including all children, despite their limitations. This is all made possible through national and local clubs and dedicated coaches who want to make a big difference in the lives of kids with special needs, circumstances, or challenges.
Youth Fishing Programs
The America Cup encourages out reach to youth and provide them with access to angling disciplines in their area. Coaching guidelines and interactions to engage youth are paramount to the continued success of watershed conservation, resource education, and angler camaraderie. This information is provided to give nations a starting point to grow youth angling involvement.
Goals of Youth Angling Programs
The youth anglers of today are our conservationists of tomorrow!
Youth need a fun and exciting introduction to angling to gain the passion to continue. Implement these steps when setting up your local youth clinics.
• Provide a meaningful and enjoyable fishing opportunity to local youth.
• Promote fishing as an alternative leisure activity.
• Offer Education elements such as angler ethics, fish identification, and water safety.
• Develop Skills that provide a lifelong hobby.
The “three R’s” of Youth Protection convey a simple message for the personal awareness of our youth members.
• Recognize that anyone could be an abuser.
• Respond when someone is doing something that goes against the safety guidelines.
• Report attempted or actual abuse or any activity that you think is wrong.
1. Scout for Locations
Fishing means catching fish. Whether you plan to fish from a boat, shore or a dock, scout out locations where fish are plentiful. The local tackle shop is a great place to get some help. If possible, bring the kids along when you visit the store. Have them observe while you ask for pointers on where to go, productive baits for the area, and information on fishing regulations and fishing licenses.
2. Get Ready
Organizing gear in advance minimizes stress. Check as you pack: fishing gear, snacks, drinks, water, sunscreen, bug repellent, rain jackets, hats, first-aid kit, sunglasses.
3. Fish Safe
Safety must come first. Life jackets, while sometimes uncomfortable, are a must for kids around water. Hooks have barbs so should only be handled by adults. If you prefer, barbs can be pinched down. Ensure that the bank is safe and that the water flow is safe.
4. Talk Tactics
Boys and girls alike are naturally curious, so explain how a float works and moves when a fish bites. If casting jigs, tug on the line while the child holds the rod to simulate a hit. Demonstrate setting the hook, emphasizing that like any skill, in takes time to learn.
5. Get a Grip
Teach kids how to grip the handle of the rod keeping it in front of them in a 9 to 11 o'clock position. Explain how the reel handle turns and how to react to a bite.
6. Cast Away
A sidearm cast, not an overhead, is better and safer for kids. Here's an overview: Shoulder-check no one's in harm's way - Bring the rod back keeping it above the waist - Swing the rod forward while flicking the wrist and releasing the line prior to the rod pointing at the target - End with rod pointing at target - Offer lots of encouragement for young casters.
7. Gear for Success
Success can result from the simplicity of a bait and float on a lightweight rod. Buy several rods 3 to 4 meters long or a quality spinning or spin-cast combo between 2 to 3 meters and spool the reel with .21 /.23 mm mono filament line.
8. Use Natural Baits
To ensure that your clinics are successful use baits that will catch the most fish available at the venue. Maggots and worms prove to catch almost every type of fish and are readily available in most areas. Use natural baits if permitted, if not, use Senko or best choice.
9. Play and Land
Learning to fish takes patience. Coach kids how to slowly and steadily play fish, stopping when the fish is at the water's surface.
Encourage kids to independently land a fish quickly or to ask for help. Once the catch is out of the water and admired with photos
secured, demonstrate proper release methods. If it's fish for dinner, explain selective harvesting.
10. Have Fun!
Fishing should be always be fun. Keep this objective in mind and regardless of the number of fish caught, each outing will be a success.