Drapeau says the children talking about the fun they had at the event are one of the reasons the event was significantly bigger this year.
“It keeps getting bigger and bigger every year. It seems word of mouth and the media here jumped things a few levels. More people hear about it from the kids and how much fun the kids are having and all the goodies they get. More stuff just keeps rolling into me. A lot of the stuff even hit me today. Donations make it bigger and bigger.”
She adds she started teaching on a smaller scale when her daughter said she was bored during a trip. Drapeau ended up teaching her daughter and friends how to fish and it grew when companies approached her about teaching on a larger scale.
“My daughter, my husband, and I we go camping. My daughter was sitting there a few years ago and she says ‘I’m bored. All my friends are in RV’s watching TV and movies and playing games,’ she explains. “I asked how many fishing rods do I have and we took the fishing rods and took our friends down and I taught all these kids how to fish and they were hooked instantly. It grew from there. We were talking about how fun it was and had companies come along and ask if I wanted to do it.”
Drapeau says it feels great when she sees those taking part having a great time and knows it’s really easy for them to go fishing again in the future.
“It’s the best. The absolute best. I think that with how excited I get over it would beat any little kid at Christmas with their favourite Christmas present. They catch on so quick and they go home with all the gear. They have everything they need to go out again, mom and dad just have to put a little bit of gas in the tank and go out with some snacks and sit there. Those kids are so, so happy. They’re grinning away and having a blast.
Below are the top finishers from the children and adult categories:
1. Justice Pallister – two pounds, 19.5 inches
2. Austin Barber – two pounds, 17.5 inches
3. Jackson Hempler – one pound 15 ounces, 17.75 inches
4. Eric Louie – one pound 15 ounces, 17.5 inches
1. Mike DeVries – three pounds two ounces
2. Shane Pallister – three pounds
3. Travis Salmond – two pounds 14 ounces