Godwin teaches kids fishing

Published 8:02 am Friday, June 28, 2013

Group Photo 2

Frank Godwin, a semi-professional fisherman, taught a group of 14 children all about the finer art of fishing at the YMCA this week.

Godwin, who is the maintenance supervisor at the Bainbridge-Decatur County YMCA, taught the kids how to fish during a four-day camp.

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The young boys and girls cut their own cane poles on the YMCA’s property and watched as Godwin showed them how to put a fishing line and hook on the pole. Using live crickets, worms and marshmallows as bait, the campers — some of whom were accompanied by parents — fished on the bank of a pond hidden away on the YMCA property.

The pond was full of brim, bass and catfish. Al Cromer of Decatur Fish Farm donated 200 catfish — about two pounds apiece — to stock in the pond the week before camp was held. The kids eagerly cast their lines and were steadily reeling in fish each morning, which they placed in coolers.


After a couple of hours of fishing, the children got to cool off by jumping in the YMCA pool. One day, they toured Decatur Fish Farm off U.S. Highway 84, where the Cromer family grows and distributes premium catfish. On other days, the campers learned about boating safety and how to safely cast hooks around others.

“I showed the kids how important it is to wear life jackets that fit them right,” Godwin said. “If the life jackets are too big for them, they can slide up over their heads in the water.”

Several local businesses donated fishing gear that was given away as prizes to the children. Sammy’s Bait and Tackle donated two fishing poles; Southern Trading Company donated a youth fishing outfit and Dean Smith donated several fishing lures. Each of the campers got to take their cane poles home with them.

Godwin has fished as a co-angler in more than 60 fishing tournaments since 2003, according to the FLW Outdoors Web site. He has recorded five top-10 tournament finishes, amassed career earnings of $4,359 and caught 106 bass. In a 2006 Walmart Bass Fishing League event on Lake Seminole, Godwin caught a bass weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces.