LAFAYETTE, La. — Chris Davis teaches at Lafayette Renaissance Charter Academy and he wanted to come up with a program involving fishing.
Get kids out to the water, with family and friends, learn to love it, and also to teach them about mentorship and bonding.
His program? ‘I'm Wishing I Was Fishing’.
"You're not gonna put the whole worm on the hook; we're actually just gonna' put a piece on there,” Davis explains to three of his students. “You don't want too much work on the hook because when the fish bite it, you actually want the fish to bite the worm AND the hook."
Davis had an idea. One part kids... one part fishing... and then... like an experienced fisherman... patiently wait for good things to happen, patiently wait for those kids to take the lead.
"They just open up out there in nature. Something about catching fish. And just have ‘em open up or talk, with no certain subject, just to have somebody to talk to.”
The lessons continue.
“You want to take the slack out of it,” he tells one boy. “You see how it jumps? You want it to jump like that; you have a lot of slack, it ain't gonna jump.”
Davis and I’m Wishing I Was Fishing has been taking groups out to the water for about a year. A pond, the basin, the Gulf... all are possibilities. But be prepared for the unexpected.
“The main goal is to have a male role model, so fishing is like therapy session.”
I'm Wishing I Was Fishing is the entry point to all of this: broadening one's horizons and pondering the possibilities.
“I’m just trying something new,” explains 6th-grader Kennan Brown. “It gives me new experiences in life and makes more of my life.”
And there’s also the matter of simply learning how to fish.
“Well, all i know is that fishing is a waiting game and so all i need to do is wait and wait and wait and wait,” adds Laelon Thomas.
But one young angler, Makayla Boudreaux, didn't need the least bit of help.
She got the first fish; she caught another; she pulled in a third; and she hooked a fourth.
“I’m just lucky,” she said. “But I guess it depends on your spot and how far you cast the line.”
And where would Chris Davis like this program to go?
Of course, more funding means more boats, it means more fishing tackle, most importantly it means more kids, more families getting out there on the water and being together.
“I want to use what God has given us: the outdoors, nature..to show them another way of doing things and pretty much trying to keep ‘em out of trouble,” smiles Davis. “So being a part of a program like I’m Wishing I Was Fishing with us being only 10 minutes from the swamp and an hour-and-half from the Gulf, it’s like a match made in heaven.”
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