What sort of fishing challenge offers the chance to win prizes even if you don’t get a bite?
It’s the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C.’s popular Summer Fishing Challenge for youth aged 15 and younger, which is returning this year. The challenge invites young fishers to capture fishing moments and share their experiences for the chance to win prizes, and capturing a fish is not required.
Last year’s challenge was enthusiastically taken up by youth across the province. The youngest participant was three years old, and the average age of those who took part was 8.5 years.
The challenge is designed to encourage youth to take part in, and enjoy, freshwater fishing. Young anglers are continuing to take up the sport in increasing numbers, following the trend of families enjoying more outdoor activities together. In 2020, licence sales to B.C. residents increased 17 per cent compared to 2019, with the biggest increase seen amongst those aged 16 to 24 (up 67 per cent) and those aged 25 to 34 (up 29 per cent). Those aged 15 and under do not require a fishing licence or stamp in B.C., and are entitled to the legal limit of fish.
The first 1,000 youth who record at least five fishing trips are eligible to win a fishing tackle kit. Youth who catch a fish on each of five different fishing trips can also enter to win a Blue Fox Fishing rod and reel from Luhr Jensen. The rod and reel prize will be awarded to each of the first 200 eligible submissions.
Participants can fill out a fishing journal by recording each fishing trip and taking a photo during it. The photos can be of the lake or river scenery, people fishing, or that day’s catch, and they can be taken at multiple trips to the same location or at different locations.
Full contest rules and the fishing journal are posted at https://bit.ly/3f9pysh. Entries can be sent via email to LearntoFish@gofishbc.com, or submitted using the online form (with photos attached), from now until Aug. 3.
Families interested in freshwater fishing can sign up to learn more about the sport, or refresh their skills, through the Freshwater Fisheries Society’s Virtual Learn to Fish programs, which cover the basics of freshwater fishing. Register at www.gofishbc.com in the Events section. These online presentations are free, but preregistration is required.