Hundreds of school children enjoyed the last Friday of the 2012-2013 school year by fishing under the direction of professional angler Homer Humphreys and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
The annual fishing trip was offered to approximately 300 students from J.L. Jones and Doyline School.
"It grows every year," said Humphreys, who hosts the fishing day on his property. "There has been talk about offering it to two or three more schools, including interest expressed from Bossier Parish schools."
While Humphreys cannot promise more students will be included next year, he said it is something he hopes will happen.
"I really feel I have been blessed and I want to share that with these kids," he said. "The good Lord allowed me a great place and property that is perfect for introducing kids to fishing."
Humphreys said not all children are exposed to outdoor activities such as fishing.
"You wouldn't believe how many kids have never had a fishing experience," he said. "Between learning how to fish and Wildlife and Fisheries teaching them about the different species of fish, there are usually two or three kids that have a spark ignited.
"Just having a conversation with these kids may change their outlook on the outdoors or even inspire them toward a career or another goal," he continued. "That alone is reason enough to have these kids come out."
Humphreys said teachers and schools use the fishing trip as an incentive for students to exhibit good behavior.
"The last couple of weeks of school can be full excitement and everyone is ready for summer," Humphreys said. "The trip is used as a reward for the kids to have good conduct as the school year ends.
Teachers tell me it works well and everyone always has a good time – the students, teachers, parents and myself."