By Mickey Winfield: PNT Staff Writer
Longtime Portales resident Buddy Beck has a saying — for every day of fishing, God gives you an extra one.
If that’s true, Beck and his 8-year-old grandson Brayden have many days of fishing ahead of them.
Several Roosevelt and Curry County children attended the 17th annual kids’ fishing clinic at Oasis State Park north of Portales on a cool, sunny Saturday afternoon.
By his own estimation, Beck has been fishing for more than 60 years, and believes it’s his duty to teach his grandson how to fish.
“He’s been fishing about two times,” Beck said. “And he needs to learn how to throw a rod and reel and this is a good place where I can teach him some things.”
The clinic is an annual event, but because of pond renovation efforts, the event wasn’t held last year.
Park manager Jim Whary said weather doesn’t always cooperate like it did on Saturday.
“The weather is just fabulous,” Whary said. “It’s tremendous. It’s warm, not hot, but warm. We’ve had them out here toward the end of November where it’s been extremely cold. We’ve also had rain and snow.”
“To me, it’s just relaxing,” Beck said. “I go fishing sometimes, I don’t care weather I catch a fish or not, I just want to go to relax and take it easy.”
Fishing is also a high priority between the Boyles brothers.
“I like fishing. I like it because you get to eat fish,” 10-year-old Ryan Boyles said. “I can’t count (how many times I’ve gone fishing).”
“It’s a really good sport and it’s really tough,” Ryan’s 12-year-old brother Charles said.
Whary said about 77 local children attended the clinic, along with parents and siblings and about 35 volunteers were also on hand.
“In today’s age, kids are sitting in front of the television playing games or watching television,” Whary said. “This gives them an opportunity to get out of the house — to do something productive and it allows them to connect with family. I think that’s the biggest (benefit of fishing).”
“I’ve gone fishing before, and I like it because I like the excitement of the fish getting the bait,” 8-year-old Dakota Francis said. “I have (caught a lot of fish) before.”