Bland Leads Kid’s Casting Clinic at BassMaster Event

By Capt. Ted Lund

Yamaha Outboards Pro and National Boating Safety Spokesperson Hunter Bland had a chance to help hundreds of young anglers improve their casting skills during the 2019 Bassmaster Classic Expo held Mar. 15-17, 2019 in Knoxville, Tenn.

Each day, children had the opportunity to learn from the best in the business as part of the Get Hooked on Fishing seminar held each day from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

“I had a blast hanging out with everyone at the Expo!,” says Bland, a professional bass fisherman hailing from Ocala, Fla.“My trip was highlighted by getting to teach kids to cast each day!”

A section of World’s Fair Drive, between World’s Fair Park and the Knoxville Convention Center became a playground for parents and children outside the Expo.

This was the third year for Get Hooked on Fishing at the Classic, and one of the annual highlights has become the catfish pond — where hundreds of aggressive catfish are stocked and just waiting to hit a line and make a child squeal with delight.

Bland, along with  Knoxville-area B.A.S.S. junior high, high school, and college anglers lined up as volunteers to help youngsters with baiting their hooks, casting and, of course, catching their first fish.

Casting clinic organizer David Healy said it was a one-of-a-kind experience for kids and parents alike.

“It doesn’t matter where you’re from or who you are if you’ve never felt a catfish tug on your line it is a thrill,” says Healy. “The chaos ensues, and the smiles and the taking photos, every time, it’s just a fantastic thing to be a part of.”

Parents got to hang back and standby to take photographs.

During the Classic, the Knoxville Boys and Girls Club brought kids to the event each day.

“It’s all pretty simple,” says Healy. “We’re trying to make kids smile, and maybe when they leave they’ll ask mom and dad, ‘can we go fishing sometime?’”

Each participant in the Get Hooked On Fishing seminar received free Shakespeare rod-and-reel combos, and Toyota had a build-a-bait station where children could design their own Strike King spinner baits with the help of volunteers. All youngsters also received free B.A.S.S. activity books.

Yamaha Outboards is the world leader in reliable two- and four-stroke outboard power and is trusted by recreational boaters, professional anglers, and commercial operators. To learn more about Yamaha’s outboard lineup — ranging from 2.5- to 425-hp — accessories or to locate an authorized dealer near you, visit

Original Source:  Sportsmans



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