RALEIGH, N.C. (July 13, 2012) — While many people may describe themselves as lifelong anglers, Tyler Bineham really means it when he says he’s been fishing his whole life. The young angler, who is from Fayetteville, has been fishing steadily over the last 10 years. Quite a feat for an 11–year-old.
It was Tyler’s good fortune on June 2 when he reeled in a unified lifetime sportsman license — the grand prize in a statewide random drawing for participants in 45 kids’ “Fish for Fun” events held in May and June in celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week 2012.
Tyler, along with his parents Lori and Michael and his 8-year-old sister Ashley, traveled to Raleigh on Thursday to receive his lifetime sportsman license and certificate from Wildlife Commission Chairman David Hoyle at a N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission business meeting.
Tyler’s license, valued at $450, was donated by Neuse Sport Shop in Kinston. The license enables Tyler to fish and hunt in North Carolina for free for life, even if he moves out of state. These fishing and hunting privileges include fishing in all public waters — from the mountain to the coast — as well as hunting for big game, hunting on game lands and waterfowl hunting.
Tyler, who participated in the June 2 kids’ fishing event at the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center, started fishing — literally at his daddy’s knee — sometime between his first and second birthday. His mother, Lori, describes her eldest child as “a boy who loves to fish.”
And a boy who knows how to catch fish. She said that he won his first fishing derby when he was just two years old by catching the largest fish for his age group at a fishing derby held in Leavenworth, KS.
“In fact, his fish was bigger than the winning fish in the older age groups as well,” she said.
Being a veteran fisherman, Tyler has his share of fish tales to tell. He says that while his favorite fishing experience was in June when he won his new lifetime license, his most memorable fishing experience was the time when he was fishing in Texas and reeled in a fish with a cottonmouth attached to it.
Although the experience was scary, he escaped unscathed although the same couldn’t be said about the snake — or the fish, for that matter — a disappointing outcome for Tyler because he loves to eat what he catches. When he’s not reeling in cottonmouths, Tyler says his favorite fish to catch is bass “because they taste good.”
Tyler is a rising 7th grader at Village Christian Academy in Fayetteville. He’s also a Boy Scout with Troop 747. In his spare time, Tyler enjoys basketball — his favorite position is point guard “because I always have the ball,” football, reading and playing video games.
Rheannan Parks, 12, of New Holland won the first prize in the drawing, a lifetime freshwater fishing license valued at $250, which was donated by the N.C. Council of Trout Unlimited. She was unable to attend the Commission’s business meeting on Thursday.
In addition to Tyler and Rheannan, 150 other young anglers won fishing prizes — from rods and reels and tackle boxes courtesy of Bass Pro Shops in Concord to mini tackle boxes and fishing hand towels from the Wildlife Commission. Click here for a list of winners, as well as the prizes won. Names of winners are listed alphabetically by last name.
Since 2001, the Wildlife Commission, along with partners such as Neuse Sport Shop, N.C. Council of Trout Unlimited, Bass Pro Shops and the U.S. Forest Service, has supported these free fishing events during National Fishing and Boating Week to promote fishing as a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy.
In addition to the fishing events held during National Fishing and Boating Week, the Commission supports and hosts many other fishing events throughout the year and across the state.
On Sept. 22, each of the four Commission education centers, along with its McKinney Lake Fish Hatchery, will host free outdoor, expo-like events open to the public where fishing will be just one of many wildlife-related activities being offered.
“One of the fundamental responsibilities of the Wildlife Resources Commission is to nurture and encourage the next generation of hunters and anglers or — really anyone who cares about wildlife in North Carolina,” Hoyle said. “These free events, whether it’s a fishing event or a wildlife expo where participants get to shoot a bow and arrow or an air rifle or even hold a snake, are our way of getting kids outside on the water or in the woods today so they’ll be good stewards of our wildlife resources tomorrow.”
For more information on fishing in North Carolina’s public, inland waters, visit the the fishing page or call the Division of Inland Fisheries, 919-707-0220.
A high resolution of the image above can be downloaded here. Please credit Melissa McGaw/NCWRC