Biennial Sooke Event Get Kids All Geared Up for Fishing Adventures
It's August, the time of the year, when the pink salmon return to the waters off the lower island and fishermen everywhere are going out in their boats to test their skills against these fish. But not everyone gets the chance to experience this adventure.
For years now, a group of local fishing enthusiasts has been providing a way for kids, who might not otherwise have the chance, to go salmon fishing.
The biennial Pink Salmon Festival is being hosted in Sooke on Sunday, August 23rd. It's an opportunity for children and families to definitely "reel in" some fun, friendships and fresh air. The Greater Victoria Pink Salmon Festival Society has been hosting the event since 2001.
"It happens every other year because the pink salmon run is on the odd year," says Shannon Wilkinson, executive director for the Society, during a phone interview this month. "The event ties in with the run."
The event takes months of planning, funding and volunteers, and it can't happen without the support of committed sponsors. Peetz Outdoors is proud to be a contributor to the Pink Salmon Festival with a donation of a 5” Evolution Reel. This is an event which ties in perfectly with our values of giving back to the community.
The festival enables kids to experience not only being on a boat, but the thrill and joy of West Coast salmon fishing.
Says Wilkinson, "The kids are so excited. Some of them are a little scared at the start because they've never been on a boat before. But soon they are all smiles."
Registering and Schedule of Events
The Society provides each child with a fishing license, personal floatation device, rod, reel, tackle and gear. There is no cost to registrants. From 10:00 am to 11:00 am registration takes place at Pedder Bay Marina. The children board the boats which leave from Pedder Bay Marina, Jock’s Dock in Sooke Harbour, and Sooke Harbour Marina and spend three hours exploring the surrounding waters and enjoying saltwater fishing with experts by their side.
The volunteer skippers, charter boat operators and sports fishermen who participate all share the same enthusiasm for fishing and for the chance to share this activity with others.
"Some of them have been taking part since the event began years ago," says Wilkinson.
Once back ashore there is a barbecue at 3:00 pm at Pedder Bay Resort and Marina. Here the kids join with their families to enjoy burgers, hot dogs and beverages and to celebrate the day's fishing adventures. When it's all over, each of them will take home the fish they've caught that day.
"At the end of the day," says Wilkinson, "The kids have a backpack full of gear, rod, reel, tackle and a license to go fishing for a year."
They come for the excitement and the new opportunity, but they leave with a feeling of accomplishment. It's a few hours of fishing and fun, but it's also an introduction to an activity they can do for a lifetime.
To register, or for more information, visit: http://www.pinksalmonfestival.ca/
PEETZ Outdoors extends a warm thank you to Shannon Wilkinson for sharing her passion for giving back to the community and wishes The Greater Victoria Pink Salmon Festival Society best of luck with the event. Way to go!