In 2015 nearly 39 percent of new fishing participants were ages 6 to 12.
That statistic from the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation was the premise of a tournament held at Skipper Bud’s in Wisconsin, called Tomorrow’s Anglers Fish Quest, captured in a video released earlier this month by Mercury Marine, one of the event’s sponsors.
The tournament is a nonprofit event created in 2015 to promote fishing through a youth tournament with a format modeled off professional fishing circuits.
At the event, which was held in July, children between the ages of 9 and 17 and one or both parents are paired with a professional angler in a fully rigged boat for a day on the water, learning and catching fish.
The day concludes with each child coming to a stage with his catch, where he has his fish weighed in, describes his day in an interview and holds his catch up for the crowd.
Fishing with a child is the best one-on-one time to have, said Jeff Boutin, president of Tomorrow’s Anglers, in this video:
“There’s not a TV, not a computer, not the video games, all that stuff is gone, and it’s just you and your child. I think some of that’s missing today, and that’s one of the big reasons I do this,” Boutin said.
In the video children talk about their angling heroes, largely listing parents or grandparents as their fishing role models.
Smoker Craft is the presenting sponsor, and Midwest Outdoors is the media sponsor. Other sponsors include Starcraft Marine, Cabela’s, Skipper Bud’s and A-1 Tool Corp..
“It’s truly amazing how kids gravitate to this,” Boutin said. “I just enjoy this so much.