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Family Tradition: Gone Fishin'

February 14, 2018

Envision yourself sitting on a pontoon boat with a fishing rod in hand and a bucket of bait sitting beside your feet. You are leaning back in the boat, drinking an iced tea, chatting away with your fellow fishermen. Laughs fill the air and you jerk back, realizing you have a bite! You start reeling in your catch while the cheers from your buddies fill the air! You reel faster and faster only to realize it’s just some kelp knotted to your lure. You all laugh and say, “Next time,” as you cast and lean back once again. 

Many of us have fond memories of fishing with family and friends, spending summers at the lake waiting for a recordbreaking catch. These nostalgic memories are the reason why Jay Goldman, Bill Foch and Ron Mantegna created the co-ed club Gone Fishin’, which has thrived at the Center for 12 years and currently has 28 members.

With lots of time, hard work and dedication, the club’s passionate leaders plan several meetings each month, offering a variety of programs so members can stay active and socialize with others who share similar interests. 

Guest speakers come to teach different aspects of fishing, such as making lures, cooking a fish properly and locating good fishing spots. Off-site activities include fishing trips, competitions and field trips to Bass Pro Shops. From the months of April through September, Gone Fishin’ takes approximately 11 fishing excursions, which include the Annual Bob Lindstrom Memorial Fishing Derby at Bangs Lake and a day with Confusion Charters on Lake Michigan. 

Even though each member claims to be the record holder for largest catch, the club encourages newcomers to join. Jay said, “It’s a fun way to learn something new with people very willing to help you.” Current Gone Fishin’ President Tom Miller adds, “Try it once—if you like it, come back—we are happy to help you. There is a strong camaraderie and friendship amongst the group—we share past fishing stories, gear, bait, fishing tips, and we are constantly learning from one another.”