Lake Erie charter captains offer “Kids Fish Free” week

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COLUMBUS - Kids can fish free on selected Lake Erie fishing charters from Aug. 11-15 when accompanied by a paying adult as part of a program sponsored by the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association.

During “Kids Fish Free” week, adults booking a charter through the charter boat association hotline will be able to bring one youngster aged 17 or under at no charge for each paying adult.

For a standard six-person fishing charter, a party consisting of three adults and three youths would pay half the normal charter fee since the three youngsters fish free.

The toll free number is 1-800-287-1020 and reservations can be made up until the start of “Kids Fish Free” week, Aug. 11 to 15.

Memorial program. The Lake Erie Charter Boat Association started the Kids Fish Free program last summer to honor one of its founding members, the late Jim Fofrich, Sr.

As an active proponent of Lake Erie fishing, Fofrich promoted the concept of lowering rates to encourage families to bring their kids along on Lake Erie fishing trips.

In 2002, Fofrich was inducted into the Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame.

“In memory of Jim and to show our respect for his accomplishments and efforts, we wanted to kickoff the free fishing program for kids in his honor,” said Mike Matta, treasurer of the charter boat captains.

Benefits. The Division of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife, co-sponsors of the event, will contribute fishing brochures and information.

Charter boat captains will give each participating youth a certificate.

The special charter trips will be spent on western Lake Erie, departing from the Port Clinton area.

Fishing trips can be scheduled for walleye, smallmouth bass, yellow perch or a combination of those species.

More than 400 member charter captains will be participating in the program and all will provide the fishing tackle and equipment for the kids on their boats.

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