Lil’ Angler: Angler Young Angler Catfish Tournament

Not too many people would argue with you that getting kids hooked on fishing is a positive thing. In this day and age of devices and vices, there are definitely worse things you can do than teach outdoor skills to the next generation. A long running initiative that has worked hard to accomplish this very thing is the Lund Boats administered Angler Young Angler program. By organizing youth oriented fun fishing events within a competitive backdrop, many young anglers over the years have caught the bug so to speak.

The most recent AYA Tournament took place this August out of Selkirk in the Interlake Region. The target species for this event were world famous Red River Channel Catfish. What better way to expose Lil’ Anglers to sport fishing than battling rod bending brutes for a day such as this one caught by Danielle Munroe.

A Master Angler qualifying 34 inches was the minimum length required to count for a team’s scorecard. Excited squeals and high fives all around were witnessed throughout the day as many teams were able to boat at least one ‘keeper’ cat.

Catch, Photo, Release with a best five fish limit was the format for this tournament. Standardized identical bump boards were provided to each team with instructions on how to measure, photograph, and release each catfish. A required measurement shot of the entire fish on the device and optional action shot with the angler mirrors the exact process for submitting entries to the Manitoba Master Angler program.

Even though this was a competition, the main focus was still on having fun. These teams were awarded the top four awards in the Team Spirit Category. Bathtub boats proved to be the winning theme this year.

Huge smiles and sore arms were consistent across the field of 45 teams. The 2017 edition of the local AYA drew over 180 anglers with 100 of those being kids. A fantastic turnout and a testament to the appeal of spending quality time on the water with our youth.

As is consistent with most youth oriented fishing tournaments in Manitoba, every single Lil’ Angler that competed went home with a fantastic prize and stacked swag bag. Tournament Director Garther Cheung expressed his gratitude towards the entire local angling industry for their continued commitment and support for events such as these.

From seasoned Lil’ Angler veterans to first timers on a boat, every kid had a great day that they won’t soon forget. Positive angling experiences that hopefully lead to the development of life long skills and enjoyment of the outdoors.

For more information on fishing for catfish in Manitoba visit our Channel Catfish page.

To find out more about the Lil’ Angler Program visit our Master Angler homepage.