Fishing With Friends: Claremore Man Shares Passion By Donating Supplies To Kids

Fishing With Friends: Claremore Man Shares Passion By Donating Supplies To Kids

A Claremore man is sharing his passion for fishing to do something good for his community.

He got people to come together and donate more than 100 fishing poles, bobbers and hooks. Now he is giving the poles that were donated to kids who want to fish.

"I think I caught my first fish- it was a croppie - when I was three," said Zach Shambles. "It is something that has stuck with me."

Fishing is not a sport for Zach - it's a way to breathe, to take a break, to slow down and connect.

"I get to go out there and spend four to eight hours fishing on the water. I put my phone down. We have music playing and we just sit and fish," said Zach. "I take my little family out."

Zach was in high school when he first started sharing his passion with other kids. 

"I had a bunch of extra fishing poles, so I went, and I gave them out to a couple of kids. As I got older, it is something I wanted to do again but I didn't really have the resources," said Zach. 

Zach is now a teacher and father with a huge support system, so when he made a post on Facebook asking to buy fishing poles so he could donate them to kids, the community stepped up in a big way.

Families and friends, businesses like Atwoods, Nabatak Outdoors, Flex Fitness Center and Cedar Point Church all donated, together gathering hundreds of fishing poles.

A church let Zach and his family set up shop in one of their buildings. Families came through picking the perfect fishing pole and every pole was gone by the end of the day.

"If one or ten people are able to show 100 plus kids that we care about you enough to give you a free fishing pole and hooks and bobbers, hopefully that will install something in their brain that people do care about them," said Zach. 

There was a catch though.

"They had to kiss a fish! What I was told when I was three is you have to kiss your first fish of the day," said Zach. 

Now those pictures are rolling into Zach's Facebook feed as well.

Zach said he wants to do this giveaway again. If you would like to donate, or simply support the cause, click here.