By Mitchell Clarke
In a bid to ‘hook’ the next generation of fishing enthusiasts, Lakeside in Pakenham played hosted to a Vic Fish day.
Fishing TV personalities Rex Hunt and Lee Rayner attended the event on Sunday 15 September as more than 350 kids and their families took to the lake to release rainbow trout.
This is the third years of the Vic Fish Kids program, an opportunity for curious kids to give fishing a go in a safe and supportive environment.
Bass MP Jordan Crugnale said it was an “absolute joy” watching the kids put little rainbow trouts in the lake and helping them learn how to cast off.
“The best part about fishing is not the catch itself – that is a bonus, it’s being outside, in the natural environment, sitting still, taking it all in and for kids, it’s quality time with their friends and family,” Ms Crugnale said.
“It’s a great social equaliser as well – it’s free and anyone can give it a go.”
Recreational fishing provides significant social, economic and health benefits for Victorians with the state government pledging $35 million to get more people fishing, more often.
The Vic Fish Kids day are part of a larger government initiative to get more people fishing, with an ultimate goal of increasing participation to one million anglers by 2020.
The Pakenham event was one of five fishing events across the state, with events in Seymour and Shepparton to be held later this year.