Dozens of kids participate in annual ‘Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs’ program

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A local organization is hoping to keep kids out of trouble with a fishing trip.

The Blue Water Fishing Club has held the ‘Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs’ event for 25 years.

This year with the help from the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office, the club took dozens of at-risk kids out on three boats in hopes of catching fish, and changing lives.

The sound of the ocean breeze and the waves crashing against the shore sounds like the perfect recipe for a fishing trip.

But for nearly 100 kids, it’s also the perfect place to teach a lesson.

Virginia Beach Sheriff Office Chief Deputy Rocky Holcomb said that is the message he wanted to get across during the “Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs” program.

“It’s a lot more satisfying to go out and catch fish and hang out with your friends and have a good time than it is to go out and do illegal activities and be a part of drugs and things like that,” said Holcomb.

For some, like Michael Turner, this was all new.

“I never used a fishing rod and I’ve never been on a boat,” said Turner.

For others, it’s like a walk in the park.

Local EMT volunteers said nevertheless each kid has something to learn.

“With the climate that we have with society today it’s awesome to have another outlet for these kids to be able to participate in to keep them off the drugs and out of the streets out of trouble,” said Khia Smith

“I’ve dealt with plenty of overdoses, it’s good to teach them other ways to have fun,” said Robert Muhly.

The kids stayed in high spirits and despite no one catching any fish, they still took what’s most important home.

“Hang out with the right people and don’t land yourself in jail because of them,” said Riley Sanwick.

“You can do other stuff instead of just playing around or doing stuff you’re not supposed to,” said Anthony McVay.

Unfortunately on this trip the water was too harsh to go far out so they stayed in the inlet. No one on the boat 10 On Your Side was on caught any fish.

Organizers said it was just another opportunity to teach patience and look forward to next year.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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