The Erie County Federation of Sportsmen (ECFS) fishing clinic season came to an end recently with our Chestnut Ridge Park clinic on the 24th of June. The ECFS will however be assisting at a fishing clinic July 22nd held by the Southtowns Walleye Association in the town of Boston.
The Chestnut Ridge Park event is special to me primarily because I believe it is the perfect location for a clinic with great fishing, a beautiful little remote lake and of course the Commissioners Cabin.
On the day of the clinic the early weather forecast with periods of rain was ominous and we were very concerned how this would affect our attendance with approximately 53 children registered but the weather forecast was wrong and approximately 9:30 the sky lightened up and it turned out to be a beautiful day!!
The experienced staffs of the Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen (ECFS) quickly set up the various learning stations such as Casting, Where to Fish, Fish Identification, Knot Tying, Rubber baits etc. We were ready for the children by 9:30. The efficiency of these crews headed by Bob Avery and Tom Fischer of the ECFS and Mike Todd of the NYSCC needs to once again be commended as the two groups worked as smooth as a well oiled and lubricated Shimano Reel!!! The local Boy Scouts from troop 1910 and various volunteers also played major roles throughout the day.
The learning stations were excellent as they were manned by experienced fishermen many of which are in the New York State Outdoorsman Hall of Fame.
A lot of fish were caught such as bluegills, perch, bass etc. The biggest fish was a 13.5 inch Largemouth Bass. All the fish except the bass were kept in a large portable plastic swimming pool and at the end of the event were released back into the lake.
Almost all of the children walked away from this clinic with new fishing equipment including new pole/reel combos. Many people didn’t even know this lake existed were amazed by its beauty and seclusion
To see these mostly senior sportspeople instruct the very diverse group of young people from all over the county on the sport of fishing is actually an amazing and inspiring site. Only in America !!!!
If you have never been to one of these events you need to put it on your bucket list. You didn’t even have to have a fishing license at this event as this was one of New York States free fishing weekends. To get more information on this and other ECFS events like National Hunting and Fishing day on the last Saturday in September check our website. Stop in and visit our booth in the Conservation Building at the annual Erie County Fair in August… If you are an Erie County resident be sure to enter your child in our annual lifetime license program drawing which takes place in December. We anticipate giving away at least 8 licenses this year. The entry blank is on the ECFS website. We also give away several fish pole reel combinations every day. There is not many free things at the Erie County Fair, this is!!!