Dan's a freelance outdoors and boating writer and a certified Passport Fishing Instructor & syndicated outdoor radio host.
For my “Kids Fishing 411” seminar, I use a simple cane pole and live bait backed up by props that include an anatomically correct catfish hand puppet, the "World's Largest Fishing Hook" and "World's Largest Fishing Lure" and a simple question-and-answer format to explain the basics of fishing to kids. Those who have attended my seminars in previous years know to sit down on the floor around me, and others soon get the idea and join them, while parents remain in the seats. I hand out bobbers and safety-carded Eagle Claw Good Luck Hooks as I talk and ask questions and demonstrate each step, and I end each show by helping a child from the audience to select and don a properly fitting PFD. We then attempt to put all the tips together to catch, fight, land, and release a fish from the tank or trout pond using the cane pole. It is by far my most popular presentation, both with guests and exhibitors, who appreciate my targeting the families and youths attending the sport show.
In my “Ice Fishing 411” seminar I demonstrate in dramatic fashion, rather than merely describe, the basics of ice fishing from atop an "ice" platform that fits on any common fishing demonstration tank (Hawg Trough, Bass Tub, etc) while dressed in the traditional Woolrich Buffalo Plaid ice angler attire made famous by the late Walter Matthau in his popular Grumpy Old Men films. I begin each show by actually "drilling" a (pre-cut) hole in my ice using an electric- or gas-operated ice auger and proceed to demonstrate how to use everything from the latest high-tech ice fishing gear to traditional open-water tackle and tactics to fish through the ice, and I end each show by actually hooking, fighting and catching a fish through the hole in the ice. During the seminar I toss ice chips onto non-believers in the crowd, and I throw samples of chemical foot-warmer packs and baits into the audience. “Ice Fishing 411” is highly entertaining and appealing to show-goers of all ages and interests – whether they ever intend to go ice fishing or not, everyone seems to be curious about just how and why people fish during the frigid time of the year.
For reference sake, I am a certified Passport to Fishing Instructor, hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, and led Ohio's Hooked On Fishing-Not On Drugs educational program for the Ohio Division of Wildlife. I am a full time freelance outdoors and boating writer, an active member of both OWAA and BWI professional writers’ organizations, and many sport show guests and exhibitors are usually familiar with my byline. I host a syndicated outdoor radio that airs weekly in two dozen Midwest markets (www.buckeyesportsman.net), and I travel the nation during the winter months leading fishing, boating and photography seminars at sport shows. I can provide show producer references upon request, most of whom have invited me back every year since hosting my presentations, several featuring me as the main act in their annual “Kids Day” promotions.