People of all ages and backgrounds enjoy the sport of fishing, whether it be as a leisurely lifelong hobby or even a means of putting food on the table, but not everyone gets the same opportunities to try fishing at an early age. The Weyburn Wildlife Federation (WWF) hopes to provide that opportunity for local youth aged 12 and up with their free "Take me Fishing" program. WWF president Larry Olfert said the goal of the program is to expose kids to the hobby with a positive first experience. 

"Many kids don't have anyone to take them fishing, so we take them out and give them some good instructions to get started," said Olfert. "We open it up to a dozen kids aged 12 and up, and we keep the numbers low so we can take care of everyone properly."

With jerkbaits, crankbaits, swimbaits, spinners, worms, spooks, hundreds of jigs and countless other doo-dads making it difficult to understand what gear to use and when, having an experienced mentor there to teach the basics makes the hobby accessible for anyone. Kids will get to learn the basics of rigging a line and how to utilize the different baits and lures that are appropriate for the season that they're fishing. They'll also be taught proper fish handling techniques for both their safety and for the preservation of the fish. 

The next session is scheduled for March 17th, allowing local youth the chance to try out the unique challenge of ice fishing. The following session will likely take place in the early fall, providing the chance to experience the open water season as well. Olfert shared that demand can sometimes be quite high for both sessions, so it's best to register as soon as dates are released.

"We have seen waitlists hit up to 100 kids in the past, so we sometimes have to pick and choose who can go," he explained. "The only stipulation to apply is that it must be your first time. If they've come out with us before we want to let someone else experience it, too. Keep a close eye on our Facebook for when we announce it and all of the signup info will be there."

Watch closely on the Weyburn Wildlife Federation Facebook Page for future announcements and events!