Someone You Should Know: Taking people fishing

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Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 10:01 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - By the busload, they come.

“Usually have three or four volunteers, and the bus driver. And that’s the help people, especially in wheel chairs, to get off the bus,” said Norman Kopecky.

To throw a line in the water.

Norman Kopecky owns the land that this small lake is on, just west of Worthing.

“Well it’s kind of hidden. People will drive by it fifteen hundred times and have no idea that it’s here,” said Norman.

Soon Norman started inviting people out to fish.

“Yeah we started it about twenty years ago. And I don’t remember how it started. And it grew, and it’s mostly nursing homes. I don’t fish personally, it’s not fun. Where as when we get these nursing homes here, they’re fun. They go so excited, these residents about fishing and catching fish,” said Norman.

This group is from a Good Samaritan Society Nursing Home in Canton. Kendall Johnson had a first in life.

“I get real Coke, and I get out of the nursing home. And it’s my first fish,” said Kendall.

“Well, we’ve got blue gill, pumpkin seeds, large mouth bass, small mouth bass, crappies, walleyes, perch, catfish, got actually a few rock bass. It’s all catch and release,” said Norman.

Norman doesn’t charge any money to fish here, he just wants them to have a couple hours of fun.

“We have usually one to two groups a week come out. And they hear about it from one activity director to another activity director. And they come out to go fishing, and we actually catch fish that’s the big thing. That’s the exciting thing about it. They actually catch fish, so they have a lot of fun,” said Norman.

And bring back memories of years gone by.

“I went out to the river with my brother, big Ben. And we caught a lot of fish,” said Daryl Riddle.

“It’s something where they all get a picture with the fish that they caught. Then there’s more stories when they go home, and go back to their residence. And it’s something they can say look at what i did. Makes then important. Everybody needs to feel important,” said Norman.