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Anglers Club plans Teach A Kid To Fish Day in Ocean Pines

The Ocean Pines Anglers Club will host its annual Teach a Kid to Fish Day from 9-11 a.m.,  June 15, at the South Gate Pond.

Teach a Kid to Fish-file

Tables with gear and other fishing accessories are pictured during the 2023 Teach a Kid to Fish Day in Ocean Pines.
File photo

By Tara Fischer, Staff Writer 

The Ocean Pines Anglers Club is gearing up to host its annual Teach a Kid to Fish Day on Saturday, June 15. The group’s mission for the event, slated for 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the South Gate Pond, is to provide neighborhood children with a safe summer activity.

“Teach a Kid to Fish Day is very simple,” event organizer Lee Phillips said. “It’s for children of all ages.”

The Anglers Club provides the water and bait. According to Phillips, the pond is stocked with fish sourced from a hatchery in Hagerstown, Maryland, in preparation for the event. Participants must supply their rods, insect repellent, and sunscreen.

The group’s members are present to give the young fishers tips and tricks. Phillips said one volunteer will demonstrate line casting while others work the tackle table, bait, and registration. Representatives from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources will also be available to provide their knowledge to the beginners.

The kids can apply their newfound skills at the Art Hansen Youth Memorial Fishing Contest on Saturday, July 20. The competition is broken into age categories. Children ages four to seven will fish against each other, 8 to 11-year-olds will compete, and 12 to 16-year-olds will go head-to-head.

The competition, which is held at the South Gate Pond, awards winners in each category a fishing rod or tackle bag. Every participant is also given a T-shirt and a hat.

“This is a great way for the community to give kids something to do besides hanging on the streets,” Anglers Club Administrator Jerry Leuters said in April. “We want to teach the next generation to fish.”

The late Art Hansen, a resident of Ocean Pines, founded the Anglers Club in the 1990s. Phillips said the group began with six members. Now, the organization boasts about 100 fishermen.

The club is open to anyone with a passion for the sport. The oldest participant is 90, while the youngest is 30. John McFalls is an early member who is still active in the group. The longtime fisherman joined in 1996 when there were only about six or seven men and one woman.

“I’ve really learned what little I know from the small group,” McFalls said in a press release issued by Ocean Pines Director of Public Relations and Marketing Josh Davis.

The Art Hansen Youth Memorial Fishing Contest was the first event for kids hosted by the club. McFalls said the group organized a day to teach the children how to fish about a year after the first competition.

Teach a Kid to Fish Day and the July event are free and open to the public.

Anglers Club meetings are held at the Ocean Pines Library on the second Saturday of each month at 9:30 a.m. Residents interested in joining are welcome to attend. 

This story appears in the June 13, 2024, print edition of the Bayside Gazette.