Author Richard Louv coined the phrase Nature Deficit Disorder, a term to describe how human beings, especially children, are spending less time outdoors resulting in a wide range of behavioural problems. Before getting into Sport Fishing, I worked with children and since then knew it was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life; when fishing came along, I was in a dilemma – Now I wanted to fish for the rest of my life too.
Today, we are the first in Malaysia (if not South East Asia) to come up with a complete training programme for our youth. As overfishing poses a real threat to the marine population, the sport of fishing runs the risk of one day being almost impossible to do. The only way we can save our seas and this amazing sport is to ensure that the next generation will know how to take care of it, understand and support sustainable fishing options to curb overfishing.
From casting a rod and line to understanding the sport and various weather conditions, responsible fish handling to fish release, we cover the most important basic grounds to get your children started and soaring in the sport. Get them off their gadgets over a few weekends with us and watch how they shine when they get in touch with nature and have a lot of fun doing it too. How are we sure? Read about our first ever youth programme below.
The Milkfish Lady Youth Programme
The first ever TML Youth Programme has just ended and we are filled with so much pride for the five young anglers that made us look forward to our weekends training them, seeing them grow and achieve every task put forward to them. By the end of the programme, they achieved their target species as a team, looking out for each other, ensuring no angler is left behind and no fish were released irresponsibly. The care they gave to every fish species, working as a team, was heartwarming.
Some of them started out without prior experience fishing whilst others had a bit of fishing experience growing up, however, none in Malaysia. The sport of fishing is not a walk in the park, we focused on important aspects of fishing on every session, turning it into a goal to achieve by the end of each session. Some were tough to achieve, requiring more patience and focus- not once have they failed to achieve any of it.
Parents worry if their children are able to handle fish; it’s slimy, it’s smelly! Most of the time, it does not smell and as for the slime, it tells the story of how the fish protects itself from infections thus learning how to handle them correctly is key to avoid removing any of the protective slime from their scales.
Children love learning these things (Mum and Dad too!) and what better way to learn than by holding a gorgeous fish species in hand, each with a story to tell from their anatomy to predatory instincts when attacking a bait. Our team is there every step of the way to help them gain confidence in fish handling, responsibly.
As our five young anglers have experienced, nothing beats learning a skill associated with nature and being very good at it too. By the end of the program, they were able to detect changes in the water, swiftly spotting a fish rising or in angling terms “boiling” on the surface, they were then able to cast accurately thus earning them an adrenaline pumping battle. Clearly, it was tough to end the final session of the program however their growth in the sport was evident – they are officially, young sport fishing anglers. We look forward to more youths willing to take a chance and indulge in the amazing sport of fishing as they have.
If Nature Deficit Disorder is real, then we are here to help you put a little nature into your life. Parents and family members are encouraged to join in. The Milkfish Lady Youth Program is suitable for children aged 4 and up. Contact us for more information!