Daniel Culpepper loves fishing, loves to talk fishing and loves to teach fishing. And that’s how the idea for the Folly Beach Anglers’ Take A Kid Fishing Day began.
Members of the Folly Beach Anglers and other volunteers put on the tournament, and the fishing is free. The tournament is scheduled from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. June 9 at the Folly Beach Pier. Fishing is open for youths up to age 16. The club provides loaner rods and reels, fishing rigs, bait and instruction; parking and food or not included.
“I’ve lived on Folly Beach for 20 years, but I’m not a native. I hear these old stories about how things were, and this is a way to have kids from the tri-county area come down and have good memories of Folly Beach like others had when they were growing up,” said Culpepper, a member of the Folly Beach Anglers.
The tournament began in 2009 with 53 kids, grew to 81 young anglers in 2010 and last year 111 youngsters participated. Even more are expected this year.
Culpepper said the Folly Beach Anglers’ children are, for the most part, grown and out of the house so this offers them an opportunity to interact with youngsters and their parents in a special environment.
Children compete in age groups for boys and girls — 6 and younger, 7-11 and 12-16. Trophies are awarded and a $50 prize will be given for the largest overall fish. The largest fish ever caught in the tournament was a 5-pound, 7-ounce sheepshead by Kayla Goudelock, who has won her division all three years.
Culpepper said he tries to buy new rods and reels on closeout for the youngsters to use. During the tournament if they get tired of fishing, he said the youngsters return the rod and reel for someone else to use. At the end of the tournament, he holds drawings and gives the fishing combos away. This year there also will be a drawing for a bicycle.
“We’re not only teaching the kids, but we’re teaching the parents as well,” Culpepper said. “And we all have a good time.”
For more information, contact Culpepper at (843) 588-6547 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.