More than 20 local kids who had reportedly never gone fishing before were brought to the San Pablo Reservoir last weekend for their first lesson as part of the first annual “Cast and Catch” Fishing Derby.
The children from the Richmond Police Athletic League and the Richmond Coronado YMCA learned to fish with adult mentors during the successful Saturday outing. The event, put on by the Richmond Kiwanis and Richmond Rotary clubs, is designed to teach life skills, according to organizers.
“Fishing teaches patience, harmony, and waiting,” said Jamie Preston, president of the Richmond Kiwanis. “Through fishing the youngsters must learn to wait their turn, and wait for the fish to bite.”
The event was organized and planned by a committee headed by avid fisherman Alan Blavins, the incoming president of the Richmond Rotary Club, and also Larry Lewis, executive director of RPAL and member of the Richmond Kiwanis club.
“I spent 70-percent of my time tying knots and replacing lost hooks and weights,” Blavins said. “They were all very attentive.”
Patience paid off as several of the youngsters caught a fish. The fish were weighed and most were released back into the reservoir. Rotarian and local attorney, Josh Genser, showed them how to clean fish and prepare them for cooking.
The children were also taught to act in a responsible way at the reservoir and keep the water clean for the fish as well as people.