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Youth spend morning fishing at Causeway

By Staff | Aug 2, 2017

Kayla Betts, 11, practices receives some guidance from Optimist member Ian Wainwright. MEGHAN MCCOY

For the seventh year, youth gathered at the Sanibel Causeway last Monday for fishing, and a picnic lunch offered by the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club through the program, the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Junior Angler Society.

“It’s one of the most popular of the programs at the Rec after seven years,” Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club President Stan Howard said, adding that he really enjoys “seeing the kids having a good time.”

The Optimist Club began sponsoring the society for kids at the Sanibel Recreation Center to get then out into the environment while learning the art of fishing.

“There are kids that have never fished before that become very good at it,” Howard said.

Monday approximately 25 kids – fourth, fifth and sixth graders – gathered at the Causeway to practice fishing for the final outing of the nine weeks it was offered this summer. Many Optimist club members were on hand showing them how to bait a hook, as well as cast.

Allison Mayan, 10, perfecting her casting skills. MEGHAN MCCOY

For Allison Mayan, 10, the excitement of “catching a fish” is what she enjoyed about participating in the camp offered at the Rec Center. Although she had not caught anything Monday morning, she said she caught a trout on another fishing excursion with the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Junior Angler Society.

Every Monday throughout the nine weeks the youth enjoyed going out with Tarpon Bay Explorers, Adventures in Paradise, as well as shore fishing.

Howard said they could not do any of it without support from the community. Bailey’s provided the bait, Tarpon Bay Explorers provided two boat trips, as well as the supplies and fishing gear for the youngsters and Adventures in Paradise provided a boat trip for 30 kids.

“It’s nice to see the community all come together to do this. It’s one of the reasons Sanibel is so awesome,” Howard said.

Eager anglers and Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club members stop to take a photograph before their picnic lunch was served Monday, July 24. Optimist President Stan Howard holds a thank you card the campers made. MEGHAN MCCOY

Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club member Randy Carson cooked hot dogs for the youngsters. MEGHAN MCCOY