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Area Scouts go fishing

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Almost 100 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were treated to a fun, free and informative fishing expedition on the Chesapeake Bay by the Virginia Charter Boat Association (VCBA), which is especially active in the Northern Neck.

“The Second Annual Youth Fishing Adventure was a great success,’’ said Capt. Ron Bennett of the VCBA. “The scouts had a great time and learned a lot. We hope we encouraged a new generation of anglers who will grow up to love fishing as much as we do.”

The 87 Scouts, and their Scout leaders, loaded onto 12 charter boats at Bay Point Marina in Norfolk on August 29 and headed out into the bay for three hours of fishing under the tutelage of expert fish-finders, the 27 charter boat captains who donated their time and expertise.

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From left; Poppy Crawshaw, Katie Sutherland, Camille Freeman, Coleen Andre & Joy Kramer present their catch at the 2009 Youth Fishing Adventure.
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Mariah Harrison receives her award for best girl’s essay on How an Army of One can help save the bay from Thelma Drake.
Hundreds of fish were caught, including croaker, spot and flounder. One boat alone landed 98 fish!

The young anglers were taught how to bait a hook, cast a line, reel in a fish, and the benefits of conserving our natural resources.

The event was organized by charter captains Ron Bennett, Kate Tylman, Junior Fisher and Joe Shelton.

Even the weather cooperated. What had been forecasted as a day of rain and choppy seas turned into one of sunshine and smooth sailing.

At noon, a team on shore, led by Scout leaders George Vest and Donna Farnham, prepared for the return of the young anglers. The grills were fired up and photographer Captain Bob Reed was ready. Captains and anglers were all smiles as they came ashore to tell their fish tales and to show off their new hats, rods and reels. It was clear the youngsters were truly hooked on fishing.

The fish were cleaned and lunch was served. Captain Bennett thanked the many sponsors, the Scouts for their enthusiasm and excellent behavior, and introduced Thelma Drake, a former Congresswoman from the region who presented awards to two scouts who were selected as the best in a Save the Bay essay contest. Those Scouts, Mariah Harrison and Austin Gardner, were honored for their well written essays on how they planned to help save the bay. One wrote: “I am only one small person, but I can make a huge change; a change that helps me, the world we live in, the marine life living in the bay and the bay itself.”

Other organizations that contributed to the success of the event included: the Virginia Marine Resources Commission through its saltwater recreational fishing development fund; the Girl Scout Council of the Colonial Coast; the Boy Scouts of America-Colonial Virginia Council; the Vinings Marine Group at Bay Point Marina; Pure Fishing Inc.; Harrison’s Fishing Charters; Jerry Smith; H.T.T. Headwear Ltd; Wilcox Tackle; George’s Seafood of Norfolk; Manuel G. Nofplot Nationwide Insurance Agency; Hampton Roads Shipping Association Inc.; Mr. and Mrs. Richard Halvorson; Captain Bubbie Crown of Tortuga Fun Charters, LLC & Crown Marina; International Longshoreman’s Association-District Council of Hampton Roads & Vicinity; the Law Offices of Howell, Daugherty and Brown; Dave Carpenter; Sentara Hospital’s Community Health and Prevention booth; Green Top Sporting Goods; Chesapeake Angler Magazine; and Food Lion.

“The Virginia Charter Boat Association is pleased to be able to provide this public service for such a worthy cause,” said Capt. Shelton. “Teaching others to enjoy and protect our natural resources is what it is all about. This youth fishing adventure was truly a great success.”

The Virginia Charter Boat Association is a statewide organization of U.S. Coast Guard-Licensed Charter Boat operators formed in 1987 and whose 140 members work to promote fishing and the industry’s fishing interests, as well as community outreach and public service initiatives. The association board is comprised of captains up and down the Chesapeake Bay, including the Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula, Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore, and is especially active in those areas.

posted 09.08.2009

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