Fathers and kids invited to bond over a day of fishing

Several Baton Rouge organizations are encouraging fathers and their kids to turn off their electronic devices and grab their fishing poles for the “Reel Dads: Celebration of Fatherhood” fishing event. 

The free fishing event will be held from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, June 8, a week before Father’s Day, at BREC’s Howell Community Park in Baton Rouge. 

Participants are encouraged to bring their fishing poles, stringers and a large ice chest to store the day’s catch.

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Fathers and kids fishing at Howell Park
Local Baton Rouge organizations invite fathers and their children to spend a day fishing at BREC’s Howell Park. (Courtesy: Ross Armstrong of 4th Floor)

Officials with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will be at the event to provide demonstrations on demonstrations on the proper way to set and cast a line during the event. There will also fishing games, a casting line competition and lessons about various fishes. 

“Our participation in these types of community events are some of the most rewarding for me personally,” said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “Our agency is glad to be part of family fun and community building activities.”

Elite Sports BR, Father On A Mission, and Abstracts are hosting the event in an effort to create an opportunity for local fathers to bond with their children by enjoying a day of fishing on the pond. 

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Fathers and kids fishing at Howell Park
Courtesy: Erin Fulbright

Organizers believe fishing is a way for fathers to connect with their children over a few hours while making memories that will last a lifetime.

“Growing up my father had a love for fishing that he passed on to me. I loved those memories of fishing together, and I passed the love on to my children,” said Darryl Hurst, director of Elite Sports BR. “Today I see kids focused on posting the perfect photo for social media and parents using cellular devices as baby sitters, and I wanted an event that would allow fathers and kids to unplug and bond. I want to share my love for the outdoors with the hope of growing a passion in other families for quality time, which seems to be forgotten.”

Geno McLaughlin, the founder of Abstracts, remembers the bonds created with his father and brother fishing when he was younger.

“Fishing was a way to connect the three generations of my family: my grandfather, father, and my brother. We would wake up at 3 a.m. and travel to Mississippi to fish. It connected me with the men in my family,” said McLaughlin. “As a father now, I want to use fishing as a way to connect with my son. With this event, I look forward to spending quality time with my son as well as like-minded men and fathers.”

With Father’s Day a week following the event, F.O.A.M. incorporated their annual celebration of fatherhood event.

“Our goal is to provide fathers and children the opportunity to connect and share lessons around fatherhood,” said Levar Robinson, F.O.A.M founder. “Through Reel Dads: Celebration of Fatherhood, we hope to educate the fathers about local resources available to them all while engaging in fun outdoor activities with their children.” 

Other partners for the event include State Representative Denise Marcelle, 4thFloor Productions, TRUCE, East Baton Rouge City Constable, Baton Rouge City Police Department, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, Gordon McKernan, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, and more.

BREC’s Howell Park is located at 5511 Winbourne Ave, Baton Rouge, LA 70805.

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