Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 23: Lending A Hand

Scarlet Oak Pond on the Ramapo Reservation.
When: Saturday, June 4th, from 8am to 1pm
Where: Scarlet Oak Pond and Darlington County Park
What: A little fishing followed by volunteering at the Bergen Bassmaster's Handicap Fishing Day
Weather: Cloudy. Not too hot. High in 70's with a stiff breeze at times.
Moon: Waxing, several days after the new.
Water Conditions: Both lakes were clear. Weeds had been cut at Darlington.

Scarlet Oak Pond is no longer on my list of top fishing spots, but it just so happened to be minutes away from an event that I feel priviledged to have been a part of.

Aside from a few misses and a pickerel that came unglued a foot from shore, my morning fishing was uneventful. I wasn't too disappointend though, as that wasn't why I had driven to Mahwah early on a Saturday morning.

Every year, the Bergen Bassmaster's hold a fishing day for the handicapped. Rods, reels, worms, food, beverages, music, hayrides and the like are all provided and it's truly a wonderful day. They are always in need of volunteers, especially those who can tie knots, undo tangles, bait hooks, take fish off the hook and provide some company for the many participants who are bussed in from around the area.

It's my pleasure to lend a hand.

I was there for 3 or 4 hours, and I do not think that a second went by that I wasn't doing something. It's pretty fast-paced to be helping a half-dozen people fish at the same time, but the smiles on their faces when they see a sunfish or even a bass appear on the end of their line is truly priceless.

This is something that I hope to be able to participate in for a long time.

A special thank you to the Bergen Bassmasters, Bergen County Parks and Recreation, the volunteers and everyone else who makes this beautiful event possible.

Next up: Fishing. Tomorrow. Not sure where.

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