What better way to spend a summer day than by a fishing hole.
That’s exactly what teacher Nate Ziemer and his Manawa summer school students did as part of their Outdoor Exploration class.
“I have taught this class for several years,” he said. “I plan on continuing to teach it in the future. We play numerous games that teach about various science concepts and how they relate to the outdoors. We spend time building shelters and finding birds. This year, for the first time, we were able to dissect owl pellets.”
Ziemer is quick to point of that fishing is by far the favorite activity.
“The first day fishing, we spent a fair amount of time working with students on the proper way to set up their fishing poles, baiting a hook and learning to cast safely,” he said.
Bob Nickodem welcomes the class each summer to fish on his property.
“We have had up to 40 kids here at one time,” he said. “A lot of these kids have never fished before. It’s all about the kids and letting them have some fun learning.”
Nickodem seemed to be just as excited as the kids. He quickly turned his attention to one of the students, showing him just what to do to land the catch of the day.
“The kids love coming out here,” Ziemer said. “We had quite a few novice fishermen this year and this is probably one of the youngest groups of students that we have taken fishing.”
Kody Fenske, 12, was all smiles as he dragged in his first catch of the day.
“I have only caught one fish before today,” he said. “This is great.”
Aeryn Knutson, 12, who hauled in a nice-sized bluegill, was learning how to take a fish off the hook with the help of Ziemer.
Content with what she caught, Knutson admitted she was a little afraid of catching anything bigger.
Jordan Konz is the veteran of the class.
“I have taken this class five times,” he said. “Fishing is my favorite part. The bass haven’t given us much glory today. I know there is a big one out there.”
From broken lines to snags in the weeds, it is clear all the students had a great time.
“We not only teach them how to fish,” Ziemer said. “We also teach them how to tell a good fishing story.”