Small fishing tackle goes a long way after resupplying stolen children’s gear
For Jake Gundry, Josh Cocking and Andy Schneider, fishing had become as important as summer baseball. At night, they were baseball teammates on the St. Michael-Albertville Knights 12AA touring team. By day they were fishing buddies cycling together to area ponds and to their favorite spot on the river next to the park at St. Michael’s Lower Recreation Center.
For them, getting ripped off at âLower Recâ was sad and confusing. On the road to the baseball game that night, Andy was visibly upset in front of his father, Peter.
âHe said, ‘Daddy, how could anyone do that?’ ? the elder Schneider called back.
As the story lasts across the community, professional fishing guide Matt Quick has reached out to help. He was touched by a grievance posted on Facebook on the local community bulletin board by Jake’s mother, Megan Gundry.
âThey left their tackle for 10 minutes to hunt frogs and came back to find tons of their stolen things,â she wrote. âSo if you see your kids with ‘new’ fishing gear, say congratulations – they took it from kids who worked hard to buy everything with their own money. “
Quick, 32, who lives in St. Michael but did not know the three families, said he was disturbed by the convergence of a “dirty person” committing a crime against three local boys who were just on the river, enjoying the outdoors.
âThey were doing things for the kids and were happy,â Quick said. âToday, it’s nice to see that. “
The multi-species fishing guide has contacted his sponsors at Clam Outdoors and a manager he knows at Cabela’s in Rogers. Clam would provide each boy with a “gift bag” and the retailer would offer discounts on new fishing gear. In the space of two days, Quick gave the boys a two-hour shopping spree, enriched with his professional advice.
“My intentions were by no means to make a big deal out of it,” said Quick, a 2006 graduate of Blaine High School. âThis was just one of those situations where it was time for me to help. “
As a child, Quick’s second home was a family cabin in Mille Lacs, near Fisher’s Resort, on the southeast side of the lake. Fishing stayed in his blood and he trained Matt Quick Outdoors Guide Service after taking an operating position at the Monticello Nuclear Power Plant. He continues to hold both jobs, focusing his fishing service on the waters between Lake Minnetonka and the Thousand Lakes. Her schedule at the powerhouse gives her plenty of time to be on the water.
Quick said he enjoys teaching fishing almost as much as fishing itself. His guiding style is to empower and educate his clients instead of just fishing with them. And so it was with the boys. At the retail store, he took them down every aisle. After paying, he and the boys met outside to review their choices and how to rig everything. Mini-donuts – donated by Doxy’s, a food trailer outside the store – were also part of the deal.
âHe was so amazing with the kids,â Megan Gundry said. “It was quite an experience for them.”
She said her son, Jake, used his own allowance and the money from mowing the grass to buy equipment this summer. The thief took in each of the boys’ plating boxes, but Andy Schneider was hit the hardest, she said.
âLooking back on it now, it was really unfortunate, but I feel like they came out to the other side knowing how people in the community can respond and be nice,â Gundry said. She said that one person sent her son a package of fishing lures and that many other members of the community expressed their support for the boys.
Schneider said Quick’s generous and caring response also generated some instant karma. His son, Andy, went fishing the day after he met the fishing guide to field test his novelties. He launched and retrieved a rig rigged with a flexible plastic crawdad trailer. At his 10th casting, the boy hooked up a 4? Â½ pound large largemouth bass.
âPersonally, I would never have used such a bait, but it worked,â said Peter Schneider. “Andy was so excited.”
He said the three boys were initially devastated by the theft. âIt’s pretty cool that someone else is restoring their faith in humanity,â he said.
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