Taking Back the Community: Get hooked on fishing, not drugs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - A local group is hoping to help kids stay out of trouble with an annual fishing event for children.

"We're going to be fishing around Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and catching some trout," said the captain.

As part of the annual "Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs" event, three boats holding 150 children go fishing.

"What we are trying to do is introduce kids to something that is a better hobby than they possibly can be doing on the streets," said Joe Wilmouth with the Virginia Beach Bluewater Fishing Club.

With help from the 70 volunteers from the Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office, kids learn to reel something in good instead of trouble.

"Just to think that if more cities would do this like we do and if we had the DARE program back in the cities maybe it could be the start of the next generation behind us," Wilmouth added.

One by one, the fish come out of the water onto the boat. For many of these kids, it's their first time fishing.

"I'm catching big ones," one girl screamed.

“Those kids that catch their first fish have their eyes light and up their world changes,” Wilmouth said. “They are like, 'I want to do it again.'"

The event is organized by the Virginia Beach Bluewater Fishing Club and started in 1990.

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