More than 20 Dolphins players served as angling coaches Tuesday afternoon for about two dozen youngsters from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
Players paired with kids fishing for bass, tilapia, gar, oscar and Mayan cichlid in the freshwater ponds surrounding the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame & Museum in Dania Beach. Volunteers from the IGFA were assistant coaches, helping players bait spinning rods and untangle lines.
Center Mike Pouncey caught the first fish — a small bass — and punter Brandon Fields, standing nearby, helped anglers Karnicia, 11, and Ta’Mya, 8, try to keep their baits away from hungry turtles.
“They see the bobber and try to get the worm,” Fields explained to the kids. “When you see your bobber go down, give it a little tug and set the hook.”
Linebacker Lee Robinson was having a tough time trying to help 11-year-old Ethan catch fish, despite the player’s extensive freshwater fishing experience growing up in Mississippi.
“When I was 13, I caught a 17-pound bass,” Robinson said. “I caught one the other day about 7 pounds. I didn’t know it would be this hard. I can see the fish, but can’t catch ’em. I ain’t used to this.”
Austin Dennie, son of long-snapper John Dennie, caught a good-sized oscar, followed by a spotted tilapia for brother Brock.
Bobby, an 11-year-old from Miami, managed three fat Mayan cichlids in fairly rapid succession unassisted.
“I fish with my grandma sometimes on Alligator Alley and by my house at a lake,” Bobby said. “I’m handling it by myself.”