Screams of youthful exuberance came from the bow of the Thea Marie as salty waves drenched kids ready to fish with the Florida Fishing Academy and Shark Zen. It turned out the ocean was a little too rough for the risk of sea sickness, but turning around wasn't so bad as the next stop inshore by Peanut Island was full of lane snapper and sunny fun for the kids.
Take a look at this video of our awesome day, and then read on for more detail...
Thirty four children in 4th and 5th grade were having the time of their lives. They had just completed a ten-week educational program through the Florida Fishing Academy. They learned everything from fishing technique and boating safety, to marine ecosystem science and ocean wildlife conservation. This enhanced their appreciation of the unique value of this day they had waited so long to experience.
Before wetting the lines, the kids got an opportunity to demonstrate their best aerial acrobatics, jumping, twisting, and flipping off the back of the boat into the water.
Once everyone got their fill, the hooks were baited and lines were dropped. Lane snapper were the consistent catch of the day, but an inflating pufferfish and giant ballyhoo also got a "wow" from the group. The sun was shining and not a single face lacked a smile on this amazing day.
Thank you to the customers of Shark Zen for making this trip possible through their purchases. Thank you to the Florida Fishing Academy for organizing such a wonderful program and such an awesome day on the water for the kids. It will live as an experience they certainly won't forget.