ATLANTIC CITY — Some dads want to spend part of their Father’s Day doing something with fishing, particularly sharing the hobby with their children.
Bass Pro Shops, a nationwide chain selling outdoor gear and apparel, knows this.
That’s why the store is involved in the Gone Fishing movement to introduce the sport to families everywhere.
Besides it being Father’s Day, Sunday was the fourth and final day this month that Bass Pro Shops sponsored free catch-and-release ponds inside the store.
C.J. Smith 34, and his wife, Vanessa Smith, 35, of Northfield, have been making the stop at Bass Pro Shops part of the family’s Father’s Day tradition for the past three years along with a stop at Wingcraft Kitchen & Beer Bar.
Smith was taking his daughter, Natalie, 2, fishing for the first time. Natalie came last year for the Gone Fishing event at Bass Pro Shops with her two older brothers, Craig Smith, 7 and Jack Smith, 5, but she didn’t fish.
Smith grew up in Northfield. His father, Craig Smith Sr., used to take him fishing in Birch Grove Park in Northfield, a tradition he has continued with his children.
Smith took his oldest son fishing for the first time three years ago.
“He was excited. He was bored at first. When we caught something, it spiked his interest,” C.J. Smith said.
Kieran McCarthy, 39, of Pittsgrove, Salem County, was standing in line waiting to do the free catch-and-release pond with his son, Liam McCarthy, 3.
McCarthy said he lived on a farm with a couple of ponds that had bluegill and bass in them.
“I like fishing. It was something he and I could do together for the rest of out lives,” said McCarthy, who visited his now deceased father as recently as February 2016 in Florida and went fishing.
McCarthy grew up on Long Island., N.Y. He also went fishing with his grandfather for blue fish and flounder.
“It’s good to keep the kids interested in the outdoors. They are so involved with electronics,” said McCarthy, who added the younger you introduce a child to fishing the better, so they can develop an appreciation for it.
Edwin Ortiz, 43, Pitman, Gloucester County, is carrying on the fishing tradition introduced to him by his father, Miguel Ortiz, who taught him in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Ortiz’s son, Jordan Ortiz, is too young to be into fishing at only 18 months old, but he did influence his daughter, Jazmin Ortiz, 15, to like it.
Ortiz comes to the resort at least once a week to fish and is a regular at the time One Stop Bait & Tackle on Atlantic Avenue here. On Father’s Day, his family was planning to lay on the beach while he took off fishing.
“The enjoyment of catching was exciting,” said Ortiz about what hooked him on fishing when he was introduced to it at least age 9.