In our family, the old adage of teaching a man to fish just is not true. Two years ago, all we caught were sun burns so bad it was a week before I could stand sunlight and clothing. Last year was the epic tangled line and emergency room visit, and this year we are simply referring to it as the mosquito/bird attack of 2019. It is too soon to talk about it and all I will say is, it wasn’t my fault. Really. Nevertheless, my son loves to fish. Which means I am now seeking professional help or at least someone more qualified than myself to teach.

After the latest debacle, my husband quietly begged me to seek assistance. He said, “It just isn’t fair for us to keep drowning these poor worms if we don’t get any better.” I personally thought he was just upset that I had forgotten to remove the bait and had to air out the vehicle for a few days. (Side note: that fishy smell can be removed, just not by forgetting to roll up the windows in a rainstorm.) With the gauntlet thrown down, I promptly ignored the challenge. It was not until a friend invited me to an open house event that I have located the answer to my fishing ineptitude. It turns out there is such a thing as a fishing class for kids.

Cannons Lake in Taylors has a gentleman who saw an interest from children to go fishing and created Fish’n Crazee Kids to teach them how to safely and responsibly fish. As it turns out, we were doing it all wrong. In one two-hour stretch, my son caught several blue-gill, two salamanders and a catfish. I apologized to the salamanders, but really it wouldn’t have been a Roland fishing trip if something hadn’t gone wrong.

Xavier Tiberghien founder of the camp has created a mentor type of group where the older and more experienced fishers teach and assist the younger kiddos.

“It doesn’t have to be an expensive sport, and teaching the kids in steps ensures their safety,” Tiberghien said.

He arranges his monthly camps to build on the information each student learned the month before and then get the kids out to fish. The goal is for every child to practice those new skills over the next month before the next meeting. I can see that being a great family time on the weekends. Ultimately, he seems to be quietly directing the children to not only learn the sport of fishing, but as Tiberghien says “handle equipment and the patience levels and persistence” it takes to succeed in more than just fish.

It also turns out that here in South Carolina, fall fishing is a very real thing, which means there is the possibility that my son may learn to fish. Or at least not end up in the emergency room. And really, if I go out again next year without some type of training, I am fairly certain that it may end up with a sunken ship and a new fish tale.

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