Fighting Back: 'Guns Down, Reels Up' initiative
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) —
What does fishing and gun violence have in common? Absolutely nothing! But there is a group in Mobile County using fishing as a way to get kids and teens off the streets. They call it the 'Guns Down, Reels Up' initiative, and it's their way of fighting back.
Nine-year-old Tim hale is learning how to fish. But it's not just about the catch, he's also learning life lessons on how to use a sport like fishing to help make right choices and stay off the streets and out of trouble. It's something his father and fellow fishermen are using to reach other teens in the area.
"Oftentimes we talk about them saying all they want to do is hang on the corner but if we just show them how to fish show them why we like fishing, one day they'll come fishing instead of hanging out and not get killed or murdered," said Tim Hale Jr.
The long term goal of 'Guns Down, Reels Up' is to use fishing to as a way to get kids to turn to something more claiming instead of violent.
"We can pull three or four kids off the street that would be something. But why pull three or four when we can pull 300 or 400!" said fishermen Kenneth Chatman.
Chatman said fishing has always kept him grounded.
"Get out on the water, meditate, think about my future," he said. "It's my comfort zone."
Organizers are planning on holding a big fishing tournament and the spring for teens. Bop's Kitchen has even volunteered to fry all the fish the kids catch.