Kids Can Fish By: Tanya Michelle

Caroline Lewis has the love of fishing in her soul. While most young ladies aren’t interested in cutting up chum for bait, quartering mullet or spending hours mastering the use of a cast net, Caroline finds value in these skills and is committed to the hunt for big fish and learning the tactics involved to be successful.

As a young angler, Caroline has boated large cobia, mahi, snapper and has played tug of war with sharks the size that most adult anglers dream of. Caroline’s true passion is hauling in bull redfish during the Fall run by tossing baits into current rips or over the break of the surf. Just shy of ten years old, Caroline created the non-profit organization called the Kids Can Fish Foundation and serves as the leading influencer of the organization and has become a role model for youth anglers across the country.

The Kids Can Fish Foundation, a nonprofit charity, was a spin-off from Girls Can Fish. While 20 miles off shore, fishing with her father (Tom Lewis), Caroline hooked in to a huge cobia–that cobia was being chased by a shark. At nine years old, fighting this amazing fish with a massive predator looking for its next meal and successfully landing and boating the fish is a mighty feat for such a young girl. Caroline was so excited about her catch that, when she got it in the boat, she shouted out with extreme excitement, “Girls can fish!” Her father looked straight at her and said, “that could be something”, and that’s when Girls Can Fish was created.

Caroline was excited to start something to get more children involved in the outdoors. Not knowing what it may become, she went home and sketched out her first logo. Fast forward a few months and, on her 10th birthday, her dad had that sketch made into an official logo for her. They soon started a YouTube channel, some social media pages, printed some stickers and shirts, and Girls Can Fish started building their name.

Caroline’s incredible influence and her strong passion for fishing was pouring over into all children–not just girls. They received many messages, comments and people reaching out asking about getting the boys and young men involved as well. With all the interest they were receiving, Caroline, Tom and their friend Brandon put their heads together and came up with Kids Can Fish. Next month, February, will be the second year anniversary of the Kids Can Fish Foundation. What they have accomplished in two years is just incredible.

Caroline, Tom and Brandon have organized an annual tournament called SSI Running of the Bulls Charity Redfish Tournament. It is one of the largest youth and adult surf style redfish tournaments on the East coast. Adults and kids compete for cash prizes, also winning high end fishing gear, trophies, gift cards and other sponsor related prizes. It’s held at Saint Simon’s Island in Georgia. The annual tournament falls on Columbus Day weekend every year. This year’s tournament dates are October 7th and 8th, 2023. Their most recent tournament had 180 participants and some that traveled as far as Washington, West Virginia, Connecticut and more.

The Kids Can Fish Foundation also organizes and hosts high quality kids fishing camps throughout the year. From seawall camps to popping corks, cast netting camps, camps that target sharks, sheepshead, pompano and other mixed bags of fish, all from the surf, Caroline is hands on and absolutely loves helping other kids catch their very first fish or teaching them how to throw the cast net. Caroline and the Foundation are sponsored by Team Rainshadow/Batson, Fishbites, Bandits custom Rods, Pro/Ahi Castnets, Florida Fishing Products, Monster Bass, Big Bite Baits and more. These amazing sponsors help with many things, including prize packs for the Foundations plus monthly and yearly contests on their Facebook page. You can check out the “Kid of the Day”, as well. (www.facebook.com/kidscanfish). With over 20k followers across their platforms, they post some insane catches daily!

I am so proud of Caroline, what she has created and her influence on our younger generation. We can either watch life from the sidelines, or actively participate. Either we let self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy prevent us from realizing our potential, or embrace the fact that when we turn our attention away from ourselves, our potential is limitless. Keep being an incredible role model for our youth Caroline!

Caroline’s fishing goal for this year is to catch a 7+lb. bass, so she can beat her little brother Graham’s PB, for bragging rights. Keep at it girl–I know you can do it!

Check out more on their website: www.kidscanfish.net

 

 

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