Keri and Dick Solis Chat 10/3/01       

Chatman - Ladies and Gentlemen a Warm Walleye Central Welcome for Keri and Dick Solis!!!

Jenn - Welcome Dick and Keri!

slickster - Clap, clap, clap, clap!

bigbrian - Hey bud!

JC.WI - Clap, clap!

prairiepillow - Hi everyone!

eyebanger(OH) - Yaaaah! Clap, clap!

Chatman - Clap, clap, clap, clap!!!

Chatman - Well, my big question is, did you make the Championship in the MWC?

Jenn - You guys have started something awesome, putting in your time, for doing kids seminars at the MWC tournaments.

Keri and Dick Solis - Dad and I did not fish the MWC this year, I have to make a living now!

eyebanger(OH) - Hi drifter!

Driftr - Howdy folks!

Keri and Dick Solis - Dad did fish with Terry Mayhall they did qualify for the championship.

Jenn - Wahoo! Congrats Dick!

Keri and Dick Solis - Thanks Jenn! It's a lot of work!

Keri and Dick Solis - You too Jenn! (and Ginny)

Chatman - Great point too Jenny, between Dick and Keri at the tourneys, you at the school and my Kids Ice fest, we have quite a comprehensive Kids program going on...

Jenn - What made you guys decide to start the kids' seminars you put on?

Keri and Dick Solis - You're ice fest at Little Bay de Noc is great! And a lot of kids come out for it!

Keri and Dick Solis - We started the clinic's as we wanted to give something back.

Chatman - Your Kids clinics are great as well!

Jenn - Do sponsors help you at all, with the kids' clinics?

Keri and Dick Solis - With so much talent and knowledge to share from fishermen, why not?

Chatman - I should point out the Dick and Keri Help out at the Kids Ice fest as well! Jenny and I have helped out at the Kids Clinics, we're all just one big happy crew!

Keri and Dick Solis - Several sponsors have donated and some have showed up to help!

Keri and Dick Solis - No one goes away without a smile!

Keri and Dick Solis - Many tournament fishermen also donate used equipment.

Jenn - Don't you have a website or something? Or do you have more than just MWC clinics?

Keri and Dick Solis - We do more than just tourneys, Jenn.

Jenn - Oh, okay. Like what?

Keri and Dick Solis - We also work with Libraries and Schools. As an example, tomorrow we will be in Montello , WI.

Jenn - What age levels do you target?

Keri and Dick Solis - We will be working with grades 2,5 and 8, all day long.

Chatman - In Montello, for a school? Which one?

Jenn - All fun ages, LOL!

Keri and Dick Solis - We had targeted all originally, but we do more with 3,4,5 grades now, in schools.

JC.WI - Anyone that has not helped at one of the seminars should do it its GREAT! Speaking from my experience!

Keri and Dick Solis - There is only one school in Montello, it's a small town!

Jenn - So, after doing the seminars, what have you two learned? About the kids or anything I guess.

Keri and Dick Solis - Seeing the enthusiasm from the kids is great!

Chatman - I know it is a small town, but I figured there'd be more than a one room school house!! LOL!

Jenn - You be nice Ralph!

Keri and Dick Solis - Girls, ages 11 to 14, love to fillet fish! They dive in up to the elbows, and flaunt it at the boys!

Jenn - Boy, that sounds like you Keri!

Jenn - Except the age thing!

Chatman - I am behaving Jenny, I have a few friends in Montello and Westfield. I just wanna see if they in fact do read this. LOL!

Keri and Dick Solis - Many single parents don't have time to take kids fishing and depend on programs like this.

Keri and Dick Solis - LOL, Jenn!

Jenn - Keri, how long have you fished? And for how many years did you and your dad fish together?

Keri and Dick Solis - I've fished since day one!

Chatman - That is kind of funny Keri, it seems more boys are squeamish with fish cleaning than the girls!

Keri and Dick Solis - We have fished tourneys from 1998-2000 together.

Keri and Dick Solis - It's a fact about some of the boys, the girls also like leeches!

Keri and Dick Solis - The leeches are one of the biggest attractions!

Keri and Dick Solis - There are several schools that would like to start Programs.

Chatman - So what happens between early teen and adult? If I show a leech to some of the kids mothers, they about jump through a window to get away!!

Jenn - Dick and Keri, do you mean where they'd have you come in once a year or something?

Keri and Dick Solis - Fishermen should get involved, we are willing to help others start programs!

Jenn - Is there any advice you could give us for those who may want to start something?

Keri and Dick Solis - We had one parent almost faint at fish filleting at Spring Valley!

Keri and Dick Solis - Her daughter loved it though!!

Jenn - LOL!

Chatman - I bet that was interesting?

Keri and Dick Solis - Jenn, take awhile to plan, and get back to the basics. Show the simple stuff, like bobbers, worms and lure types.

Jenn - What are the different things you teach the kids at the seminars?

Keri and Dick Solis - The mother, at Spring valley, didn't mind it, she wanted her kids to learn. She just couldn't take it!

Jenn - Ya, I think the way you were set up at Little Bay de Noc, this year, was awesome!! The kids were all smiles, actually fishing in that pond!

Chatman - Jenn, teach them casting and not knocking out the volunteer Pro anglers!

Chatman - Jenn, you can teach them knot tying too.

Keri and Dick Solis - Yes, knot tying is a very good one. We teach the Trilene and palomar knots.

Chatman - I had a blast with the knot tying and casting demonstrations when I helped you.

Keri and Dick Solis - The palomar is always best to start with, it's easiest and gives new learners confidence.

Keri and Dick Solis - Chatman, just wear your armor!

eyebanger(OH) - I think you should broaden your program to include wildlife conservation. 

Jenn - I remember last year, Keri, your saying how you and your Dad would dig through your tackle and basement and find things to give the kids. That is cool, pulling out of your own tackle to give every kid something!

Keri and Dick Solis - Dad just taught some kids to "sling-shot" the bait last Week, in the casting demonstration.

Keri and Dick Solis - Eyebanger, we've begun touching on conservation issues with the kids.

Keri and Dick Solis - Wildlife forever has promised to send us their program to review for this purpose.

Chatman - That will be great!

Jenn - Cool!

Keri and Dick Solis - We are also bringing in beginning duck hunters for a fall Program.

Jenn - Keri, you hunt too?

Keri and Dick Solis - Part of the new lesson plan is all things associated with water and how they interact with each other.

Chatman - Which brings me to another question, with the changes in the MWC, are there any changes in your plans for the clinics next year?

Keri and Dick Solis - Yes, I love duck hunting!

Speedy - What age group do you teach the knots, etc.? 

eyebanger(OH) - Try WLFA they have an excellent program!

Jenn - What's WLFA?

Chatman - Quack! Boom! Roasted in Orange sauce! I love Duck hunting too! And my 6 year old is taking notice of the ducks and geese out on the bay behind the house. Maybe a new hunter in the works?

eyebanger(OH) - Wildlife Legislative fund of America

eyebanger(OH) - WFLA .COM

Chatman - Actually it is WLFA.ORG, Eyebanger.

Jenn - So, do you guys have plans for fishing tournaments next year at all?

Chatman - I have been a member since 1987.

eyebanger(OH) - Thanks Chat!

Chatman - Eyebanger had a great point though, groups like WLFA, NRA etc, are generally very interested in getting involved with kids days.

Keri and Dick Solis - For starting a program some of the key elements are knots, casting, filleting, live bait, mounts, and things that capture attention, lure making too!

Driftr - There is a good article in Walleye Insider called PTA or PETA?

Keri and Dick Solis - And remember, kids don't have long attention spans!

Jenn - That's a good point!

Keri and Dick Solis - Be ready to tell stories and ask for stories from the kids.

Jenn - Is there one thing that you find they like best?

Keri and Dick Solis - Dad has run into Peta and USHS material in schools.

Keri and Dick Solis - If fishermen and sports people don't get involved our sport is in great jeopardy!

Driftr - Good point!!

Keri and Dick Solis - It would be a toss up between filleting and live bait, Jenn.

Jenn - How have you seen that stuff in schools? What do you mean?

Keri and Dick Solis - Jenn, aren't you starting a program with your students?

eyebanger(OH) - That's why we have to get the truth to them, they have to hear us, and our points of view.

Keri and Dick Solis - In literature that misrepresents what fishermen and sportsmen do. As in enjoying causing pain to animals!

Chatman - If you look real close Jenny, the weekly magazine's and papers, the kids get, can be filled with anti propaganda.

Jenn - Ya the kids wanted a fishing club, so we started one this year. We also started an aquatic program for the special Ed kids. We're going on pontoons Friday, hope it does not rain LOL!

Jenn - Oh really Ralph? I didn't know that.

Jenn - Ya, that is true about the pain thing. I hear that all the time from kids and we have to explain otherwise.

Keri and Dick Solis - A few years ago an animal rights group was pushing their agenda at the Kipling landing on Little Bay de Noc!

Jenn - Were they doing this during the tourney?

Keri and Dick Solis - They were disguised as somebody taking a survey. I figured it out when they asked if I thought I was causing pain to fish , pre-fishing for a tourney.

Chatman - That is important to note, Dick. Their surveys are NEVER straightforward and honest. Lot's of leading questions and oddly put questions. The anti's main weapon is misleading facts, lies and propaganda. Not the truth!

Keri and Dick Solis - A good sized group to work with is 30 kids, or under. And don't forget to teach safety!

Keri and Dick Solis - I always show how NOT to wear a boat cushion!

Chatman - That gives you a small enough group to pay nearly individual attention to, right?

Keri and Dick Solis - Many kids don't even realize it is a floatation device, they think it's just a boat seat!

Keri and Dick Solis - Yes Ralph, they love the attention they get.

Keri and Dick Solis - We also include a safety story about a friend who fell out of the boat, but his feet stayed in the boat!!

Chatman - I love the look in a child's eyes when you are reaching them, and when kids are having fun as well as learning!

Keri and Dick Solis - The kids laugh about the story, and it brings on questions.

Jenn - How did that happen?

Keri and Dick Solis - The kids never want it to end!

Keri and Dick Solis - It also amazes me how much they remember.

Keri and Dick Solis - Also the kids we really go for, are the ones that shy away from the crowd because they are scared to touch live bait or fillet fish.

Keri and Dick Solis - We give those kids a lot of attention!

Keri and Dick Solis - Also, we like teaching moms to fillet fish so they can go home and show off!

Keri and Dick Solis - We did that at the Petenwell MWC tourney.

Keri and Dick Solis - We also think sponsors should require their pro staff to hold clinics for kids and families.

Chatman - Another thing I found amazing, was how many Moms show up with the kids. Single Moms too!

Keri and Dick Solis - Yes, many Moms bring their kids.

Keri and Dick Solis - I had one Mom call me because she wanted to bring her kids to the pond were we held the Escanaba Clinic.

Keri and Dick Solis - Her husband did not fish, but her kids were interested. The kids (and mom) tried, but were lost. That's why they were coming to our Kids Clinic.

Keri and Dick Solis - Many grandparents also brought their grandkids to the ice fest in Gladstone, why don't you talk about the fest and what goes on Ralph?

Chatman - We get a lot of that with the ice fest as well. Those are the cool stories that make it fun doing these events.

Chatman - Aw shucks, this is your hour guys.

Jenn - You have got us wondering though Ralph. Just briefly, what is it?

Keri and Dick Solis - We were really impressed by the turnout you have. Also we've talked with a local Library about putting on an ice event for kids here.

Chatman - Briefly, Mike King, Ann Streichert, Connie and Naomi, (The Girls at Bayshore Resort) and I hold an ice fest every February. It is on the ice, just off the Kipling ramp in Gladstone. We have had from 125 to 300 plus kids at each event. 

Chatman - There is a fishing tourney for the kids, complete with trophies for the top 3 in each age group. Prizes, free eats (chip doughnuts, hot dogs etc.),hot coffee and hot chocolate.

Keri and Dick Solis - A key to the clinics is having a lot of handouts for the kids

Chatman - The DNR shows up with their skins display and to help entertain we have clowns doing balloon animals.

Chatman - That is a very important point Dick and Keri. Every kid that registers gets a grab bag of lures, tackle etc. Every kids gets something, no one is left out. All leave with something, and hopefully a better understanding of fishing and ice safety.

Chatman - We stress catch and release, having fun, proper handling of fish and ice safety.

eyebanger(OH) - I gave the WLFA program to a women's club luncheon, they were amazed at the importance sportsmen play in wildlife conservation.

Chatman - That's it, briefly. And when my fishing partner Max passed away, we renamed the ice fest the, "Max Streichert, Kids First, Ice Fest." It was really his baby and he was adamant that the ice fest, carried on after he was gone.

Keri and Dick Solis - You can take a one day class with the WI DNR to become a certified instructor.

JC.WI - Got to go but can not leave without saying Keri and Dick do a GREAT job with the kids!! Also Keri is looking for a husband??

Keri and Dick Solis - Through this program you can obtain DNR literature to distribute at clinics.

Keri and Dick Solis - We bring some animal skins and mounts to the clinics as well.

Keri and Dick Solis - Hey! I was wondering who JC was...LOL!

Keri and Dick Solis - Now I know! LOL!

JC.WI - Yes, now you know!!!!

Keri and Dick Solis - I'm always looking to trade GPS coordinates for phone numbers!!

Chatman - That is a great point Dick and Keri. Most DNR offices are glad to help and at the very least give you hand out literature and informational materials.

Keri and Dick Solis - The DNR, in Minnesota and Iowa, have also sent some stuff for the clinics.

slickster - DNR? Urgg...

Keri and Dick Solis - We have learned that new outdoor learning centers are starting up with towns and businesses pitching in to send kids to them.

Keri and Dick Solis - Back to the WLFA, Eyebanger what did you present to them?

Keri and Dick Solis - And is it something we could use?

Chatman - I am glad that more entities are focusing on reaching both kids and new anglers as well.

Keri and Dick Solis - If we don't get kids into it there won't be money to fund programs and manage wildlife.

Keri and Dick Solis - It is a fact, sportsmen put a lot of money into local economies and it is greatly appreciated by them!

Keri and Dick Solis - Feel free to get a hold of us if you would like to do something with kids.

Keri and Dick Solis - We just talked to a national outdoors organization and asked how they educate their educators. It was something they never thought of.

Keri and Dick Solis - Everything we do is from our own experience.

Chatman - And what was their response?

prairiepillow - Dick and Keri, could you give us your contact info?

Driftr - That does make sense.

Keri and Dick Solis - They looked at each other with blank faces, they never thought of it, they will look into it.

Keri and Dick Solis - W2663 Grouse Rd Pardeeville WI , 53954

Keri and Dick Solis - bearsolis@hotmail.com

Chatman - Coordinating their efforts and educating the educators on how to specifically deal with kids is a huge advance forward.

Keri and Dick Solis - Yes, it's something we need more of!

Keri and Dick Solis - When I was in college I had several friends who had been fishing with their grandpa or uncle etc, when they were kids.

Keri and Dick Solis - They wanted to fish, they liked it when they were kids, but needed someone to show them how again.

Chatman - I know from experience, there are a lot of anglers that want to do something, but have no idea how to go about it.

jumbojim - Where do you guys fish, near your home?

prairiepillow - I am one of them Chatman!

Keri and Dick Solis - Sometimes the human ego gets in the way of their asking questions. Hehehe, kind of like asking for directions at a gas station. It shouldn't happen.

Keri and Dick Solis - The Winnebago system, Wisconsin River system and tonight it was country bridges and dams from shore, for bluegills.

jumbojim - Near portage Dick?

Chatman - First advice I can offer you Prairiepillow is find out if there is a local club that does a kids event, then help out to see what it is all about.

jumbojim - Oh, cool!

Keri and Dick Solis - Salmon fishing on Lake Michigan too.

Keri and Dick Solis - Yes, tonight we were near Portage.

prairiepillow - There are none around here. I checked into it already.

prairiepillow - I had wanted to do something with the hunting and fishing from the lodge.

Keri and Dick Solis - Once, a man told me at a clinic that the last time he was fishing was with his dad, 20 years ago!! He brought his kids to the clinic to show them and refresh his memory.

Chatman - Is there a fishing club or a gun club around? If so see if they are interested and then bend my ear or Dick and Keri's ear.

jumbojim - Do you have a list where you might be teaching kids clinics this year? I'd like to bring mine.

Keri and Dick Solis - We're about done for this year.

jumbojim - I have a 4 year old and a 14 year old.

Keri and Dick Solis - We're working on next year right now.

prairiepillow - Chatman, will do!

jumbojim - I would be interested.

Keri and Dick Solis - I'll post the schedule on Walleye Central when it's set.

Keri and Dick Solis - We're focusing on waterfowl instruction now. It is, hands on, in the blind.

jumbojim - Thank you! Even though I guide, they do not like to listen to dad often. It is much easier coming from someone else. Much easier on dad too!

Keri and Dick Solis - That's true!

Chatman - That is great guys! There is such a blind fear against all firearms nowadays.

Chatman - Especially in the bigger cities, but all urban areas are falling victim to it in some fashion.

Keri and Dick Solis - We'd like to thank all the Schools and Libraries that have hosted us and all who have helped in donations or lending a hand this year! And in years past!

jumbojim - How would we get a hold of you for clinics? I work for a school district near you.

Keri and Dick Solis - This year it was people like Doug Davis, Pat Lynch, Rick Zachowski, Colin Crawford, Dan Bodinger, Ginny Frank, Tim and Jim Minnema, Juls, Jenn Pawinski, and Lenny Valiraitis.

Keri and Dick Solis - Hopefully didn't forget any!

Keri and Dick Solis - And all of the tourney directors, Mark Derricks, Jim Coon, Bill Gurenni, Mike King , Jim Seiwert , Wayne Stensrud and others!

Chatman - There have been several others that helped you out in past years too, right?

Keri and Dick Solis - Yes, several. Actually too many to mention here.

Chatman - That is a great statement to be able to make, too many to remember off the cuff.

jumbojim - There are a lot of good bunch of names in there.

Keri and Dick Solis - Chatman, regarding fear of guns..

Keri and Dick Solis - Dick has worked in a prison for 20 years and has his own theory on that.

Keri and Dick Solis - It's amazing how many prisoners wish they had been taken fishing as a kid! Many have told me that!

Keri and Dick Solis - One triple lifer actually makes craft stuff for a community program to donate to our clinics!

Keri and Dick Solis - "In the hopes they won't end up like he did." That was all he wanted.

Keri and Dick Solis - Has anybody else done anything with kids?

Chatman - I also am amazed that, in smaller communities all over the country, local teens that have little interest in outdoor activities are also many of the kids that are always bored, or in trouble.

Keri and Dick Solis - We're always looking for ideas.

Keri and Dick Solis - Yes, a lot of these kids come from broken families.

mnjimcarp - Dick and Keri' I saw you at the MWC this weekend and it was great to hear of all your efforts with kids and fishing!

Keri and Dick Solis - All it takes is one person to show them how.

Driftr - I raised 2! :)

mnjimcarp - Good job!

eyebanger(OH) - Keri and Dick, keep up the good work, you are important to all you touch. God loves you!

Keri and Dick Solis - And remember to be patient with the kids when fishing.

Keri and Dick Solis - Thanks Eyebanger!

mnjimcarp - I have spent several days this year with the fishing simulators at different events and the kids love any type of interaction with fishing.

mnjimcarp - All the kids need is a few moments of our time and they light up with interest!

Keri and Dick Solis - Simulators are great it sparks an interest.

Chatman - Simulators also help transition some kids from the video world to the real outdoors world.

Chatman - Well, the hour has come and gone too quickly. Any final or missed questions for Keri and Dick?

Driftr - I like having the neighborhood kids fishing at my pond.

Keri and Dick Solis - When was the last time anybody took a kid night crawler hunting?

Driftr - It's never a dull moment with them either!

mnjimcarp - About a month ago!

Chatman - Dick and Keri, do you include "Being a Good Neighbor" in your clinics?

Keri and Dick Solis - The smallest fish is always the biggest smile!!!

scumfrog! - That's great Driftr!

mnjimcarp - It's the simple things, not very difficult to work into our days.

Keri and Dick Solis - We promote sportsmanship and touch on ethics when possible. We also include being a good neighbor as being kind to environment.

mnjimcarp - I hear so many people say, the kids are hooked on video games. I guarantee you that my experience has been that the kids would rather be fishing if the adults would take them!

Chatman - You know, cleaning up the outdoors after yourself? My son called it being a good neighbor when I picked up some old line and trash someone left behind on the bank.

Keri and Dick Solis - Mnjimcarp, exactly, that says it all.

Chatman - I make sure I use that line and practice that every outing with any kids, or by myself for that matter.

Keri and Dick Solis - I know an 8 year old who always asks his dad if they can go fishing so they can spend quality time together.

Keri and Dick Solis - Yes Ralph, and some of the trash has included binoculars, flashlights and usable equipment!

Keri and Dick Solis - Always set an example.

Chatman - Ladies and gentleman, the time has passed too quickly. Let's have a round of applause and thanks for Dick and Keri Solis!

Keri and Dick Solis - Thanks everyone!

Keri and Dick Solis - Take a kid fishing!!

Chatman - Clap, clap, clap, clap!!

Driftr - Thanks Dick and Keri!

mnjimcarp - Great going!! Clap, clap!

Driftr - Clap, clap, clap!!

eyebanger(OH) - Thanks, and spread the conservation word!

mnjimcarp - Good night and thanks for your efforts!

Keri and Dick Solis - Bye!