Teaching every child to fish was a dream of long-time, Rio Grande Valley resident David Mendez.
This year marks the fifth year of a children’s all-free fishing event Mendez started in Brownsville where every child goes home with a free fishing rod, a full belly, free goodies and the ability to fish for a lifetime.
Hooked For Life, Kids Gone Fish’n will be held May 17 at the Brownsville Event Center Resaca in Brownsville, Texas.
Hooked For Life, Kids Gone Fish’n began as a smaller event organized by Mendez, wildlife advocacy group Las Huellas and the City of Brownsville drawing about 500 people.
With the event annually growing, Mendez founded Hooked for Life, Kids Gone Fish’n an organization solely dedicated to growing this annual, children’s fishing event and providing more children’s fishing events Valley-wide. Now, the event draws about 5,000 people. Most recently, it broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the most children fishing at one time.
Every year, Hooked for Life annually stocks the Resaca with several-thousand pounds of catfish prior to the event. The organization fundraises year-round to ensure that every child attending takes home a free fishing rod just in time for summertime fishing.
The City of Brownsville, the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation, the Brownsville Public Utilities Board and numerous private corporations and individuals sponsor Hooked For Life, Kids Gone Fish’n. Brownsville’s resacas are jewels in the community – from kayak use to fishing – and this event helps to contribute to the City’s resaca restoration efforts.
Hooked For Life, Kids Gone Fish’n helps to ensure that recreational fishing continues to give back to the community via sales and hotel occupancy tax revenue by having children fall in love with fishing. Once they learn to fish, they’re Hooked for Life.
This year’s event is dedicated to its founder, David Mendez, who lost his battle to cancer earlier this year.
Mendez’s Hooked for Life Board Members are dedicated to continuing his lifelong legacy.