Kids learn to fish, bond with police officers

Kids learn to fish, bond with police officers

BY ANDREAS BUTLER
DAYTONA TIMES

Mason Falle is only 5 years old, but he’ll have a great fish story to tell for many years to come.

Volusia County School Administrator Rod Smith assists his son Rod Smith Jr. during the fishing tournament while his wife, Antonette, looks on.
(DUANE C. FERNANDEZ SR./HARDNOTTS
PHOTOGRAPHY.COM)

The boy took home the grand prize at the Daytona Beach Police Department’s first youth fishing tournament. Falle’s big catch? A nearly 17-inch albino catfish.

Mason had this to say about his adventure on Saturday: “It’s cool! I had a lot of fun. It’s not only a big fish, but it is the only fish I’ve ever caught.”

The kid went home with a fishing kit that included a brand-new pole and several fishing accessories from Bass Pro Shops.

The fishing tournament, for kids up to 12 years old, was held at Lake Valor, which is located right in front of the police department’s headquarters.

“I think it was a great turnout with it being the first one. We’ll use this one for learning and building. We want to do this every year. I think we’ll do it during the school year since a lot of people go away during the summer,” said Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri.

A family event
Larry Adams took his 4-year-old daughter, Larissa. About 40 people participated in the tournament.

He told the Daytona Times, “I think this is a fun activity for the kids. It is also a way for them to have fun with their parents. It teaches them discipline and responsibility as well as how to fish.

Like they say, ‘If you teach a person to fish, they’ll eat forever.’ Fishing is a great skill to have.”

Mason Falle, 5, won first prize for catching the albino catfish at the Daytona Beach Police Youth Fishing Tournament on Saturday. A relative is shown behind him.
(ANDREAS BUTLER/DAYTONA TIMES)

Maria Moore made the fishing tournament a family affair. She attended with her three sons – Roman, 6, Fabian, 5, and Milan 3 – as well as her mother, Jamie Crawford.

“It’s pretty cool. It’s fascinating. The kids are learning about animals and fishing as well as what the police, firefighters, ambulance, and EMTs do. They have fire trucks and police vehicles on hand and letting the youth see how they work also while letting the kids learn to fish,’’ Maria Moore related.

Even the kids had good things to say.

“It was fun getting to fish today. I like catching the fish,” said Roman. Brother Fabian echoed, “I like catching the fish. I caught a big fish. It was fun.”

Other goodies too
Participants were treated to hot dogs and hamburgers as well as chips, cookies, doughnuts and beverages.

Everyone who fished were given gift bags filled with items like coloring books, school supplies, candy, and some fishing accessories.

Gift cards and fishing poles also went to some lucky anglers.

The fishing tournament is just one of the community outreach projects the police department is doing to reach local youth.

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