“World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” Celebrates 27 Yrs Of Getting Kids Out On The Water.

two little girls smiling and holding a huge fish they caught while standing on a dock for take-a-kid-fishing day in destin, florida

The incredibly popular beach city of Destin, Florida is known for many things, including its fishing industry — it’s even earned the name “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.”

Not everyone who lives there has the opportunity to fish for themselves, though, or even knows how. But thanks to the lovely people of Harbor Docks, a family-owned marina and seafood restaurant, local children are given an opportunity to fish in a way they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

For 27 years, Harbor Dock has hosted Take-a-Kid-Fishing Day every November, taking local kids out on the beautiful Destin waters so they can learn to fish. Since then the founder’s son, Eddie Morgan, has taken over the role.

“We had one year that we had to cancel due to weather,” Eddie said. “So we’ve been very fortunate to be able to host it every other year going on our twenty-seventh year.”

In addition to a lesson in fishing, every kid gets a fresh fish lunch and a fishing rod of their own to take home. Best of all, to make this exciting weekend trip more accessible, it’s entirely free! Everyone who helps out is a volunteer, and many of the volunteers are local firefighters and police officers.

“We put a big emphasis on trying to get kids that otherwise might not have this opportunity,” Eddie said. “We’re in a resort town. There’s plenty of people with money. So we try to get to the people who don’t get this opportunity.”

Having grown up in Destin, Eddie has fond memories of the fishing life for as long as he can remember. He even recently found a photo of himself on a dock at just a little over 1 years old.

child smiling while holding a fish he caught during take-a-kid-fishing-day in destin, florida
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“The fishing industry is what makes our area so special,” Eddie said. “And people growing up in our area should know what that is and appreciate it. A lot of these kids have never been fishing before. So if they go, they go fishing and they love it. And we give them a fishing rod when they leave so they can do it on their own.”

This year alone, Take-a-Kid-Fishing Day hosted 300 children on 50 charter boats. These 7 to 13-year-old’s were invited through local media channels and community groups. Despite being locals, many of them had never been on a boat before or even seen the Gulf of Mexico.

“They all think they’re going to catch giant sharks, enormous fish, sea monsters,” Eddie said with a laugh.

Thanks to all of the volunteers and donors who make this yearly event happen, more than 7,000 children have been given the opportunity to learn how to fish. Now in its 27th year, Eddie and the rest of the crew are seeing the magnitude of the impact their special weekend has had over the years.

“We’ve had a lot of people who, as they got older, came back to volunteer to help out, come back and brought their children in,” Eddie said.

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