Fishing Has No Boundaries event teams fishing pros with kid anglers

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Posted: Friday, August 2, 2019 6:00 am

Fishing Has No Boundaries coordinators and volunteers are on a mission every summer – fish the lakes of the northern states as often as possible with kids who likely have never fished before.

At the end of the two-day event, veteran anglers leave for home with a new self-image and a genuine feeling of accomplishment.

“You’re helping kids who have never caught a fish before, let alone been on a lake in a fishing boat,” said Clark Paulson of Hillsboro.

“It’s an experience you won’t forget and will want to do it again.”

Hosted by the Spirit Lake Casino and Marina on Devils Lake, with volunteers from across the state assisting, the event two weeks ago embraced everything great about fishing, said Paulson.

“We had the most appreciative kids, plus good fishing and great weather. It’s crazy rewarding.”

The event would have welcomed more volunteers, is all, added the Hillsboro farmer.

Accessing lakes in 11 states, Fishing Has No Boundaries provides recreational fishing opportunities for all anglers with disabilities regardless of their age, race, gender or disability.

At the same time, according to Paulson, the organization creates public awareness of the problems facing persons with disabilities and the shortfall of recreational opportunities.

“You soon learn,” Paulson explained, that dreams of leaving the shore and accessing the lakes become reality, not just for the able-bodied fishermen, but for “the less-fortunate in our world,” Paulson explained.

Paulson brought his boat to the Devils Lake event this year, joining his son, Cayle Paulson, of Harvey, in addition to Richard and Bonnie Mueller and Ed Olsen of Hillsboro. 

Fishermen from across the region helped again this year.

All were volunteers, said Paulson. “And we all had a great time,” he said.

It was a bittersweet moment.

“You help and watch these kids fish for the first time, and the fun and excitement they’re having, and you realize how good you have it, and well, you tell yourself you’ll want to do this again.”

What the organization needs next year at the Devils Lake event are more volunteers.

Paulson encourages area residents who want to help to visit the Fishing Has No Boundaries website at https://fhnbinc.org/ “and go from there. You won’t regret it.”

Fishing Has No Boundaries was founded in 1986 by a Wisconsin fishing guide. It averages more than 8,000 participants each year. Another 8,000-plus volunteers work the events.

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