Last fall I was out at the Netley colony hanging out with my buddies getting my boat ready for winter. I was asked by a guy named Darren Paluck, who was also visiting, if I would be interested in taking his son out fishing. Darren said his son loved fishing and wanted to get in the industry one day.
If you know me, when it comes to getting kids fishing, I will never say no. I mentioned to Darren to come down to Cabela’s Winnipeg as I was putting on a seminar and to bring his son Cody.
The following Saturday there they were, sitting in the front row. After my seminar was over Darren introduced his son Cody to me and my first impression was this kid needs to play football not fish. Cody was 15 years old and over six feet tall. He was very well spoken and polite, so I wanted to get this kid hooked on fishing big time.
I was booked in the spring to do the CITY TV Morning Show so I called up Cody and asked him if he would be interested in doing the show with me. He was really excited about the opportunity, showing up early the day of. With a grin on his face he got to reel in 5 big channel catfish live on television while I did the interview with the hosts.
That accomplished, I then asked Cody if he wanted to do a City of Winnipeg Fish Camp with me and of course Cody was there. I sat back and watched as he helped all the young kids get their monster channel catfish to the side of the boat, then net them. I am proud of him for coming so far in such a short period of time.
Part of being a good fisherman is giving back to the resources we love. So I asked him to help out at the Winnipeg Fish Festival. Both dad and son showed up and helped out. Cody went on to finish 2nd in the Generation Next Angler Fishing Tournament and the URBAN Fishing Derby down at the Forks.
In my eye this kid is going to be something special in the fishing industry one day and I’m going to sit back and smile because I took him under my wing and helped send him on the path to success.
In closing I ask everyone who reads my articles, that if you see a kid out there that needs a push in the right direction don’t hesitate. Be a mentor and I promise you will be a better person for it.