On Wednesday, July 24th, the Wild Harvest Table held its Panfish to Plate fishing workshop at Oak Island Pavilion in Waterloo. About 20 people participated in the event, including young kids just getting into fishing, Moms wanting to learn more ways to feed their family healthy, sustainable food, and people wanting to remember the fishing skills that they forgot from their childhood.
The attendees were split into two groups so the Cornell University Cooperative Extension educators could provide more hands-on demonstrations. One group went with myself, Rachel Blomberg, to learn the basics of fishing. Together we went over how to tie Palomar knots and the classic fisherman’s knot, or a cinch knot. We also discussed how to attach a bobber to a line, and a worm on a hook, and how to cast a spinning reel. After that, everyone started fishing and we caught an array of pumpkinseed and bluegill sunfish.
The other group started with NYSDEC Officer Todd Smith, Paul Curtis from Cornell University, and Moira Tidball with Seneca County Cooperative Extension. People learned the basics of filleting panfish, health advisories, and fishing regulations. Moira also demonstrated recipes for preparing and cooking healthy fish dishes. Afterward, they sampled some of the fresh-cooked fish that we caught, and some other wild game treats. Moira served up the fresh panfish, as well as venison hot dogs and fresh zucchini.
After about 45 minutes, the groups switched locations so that everyone received all the workshop information. There was time for questions at the end, and participants talked about their experiences. Bass Pro Shops also partnered with us to provide door prizes for the people who caught the biggest and the most fish throughout the event. Overall it was a very successful workshop based on evaluations submitted. Participants had an enjoyable time, and learned a lot too!