Originally Published by Global News, May 27, 2015

By Mitch Rosset

WINNIPEG — Even though his lectures are a little gross. His classroom far from ordinary.

Tim Au has made a splash at Miles Macdonell Collegiate.

“There’s a lot of excitement around the school during the spring,” Au said.

The phys ed teacher started an angling club at the East Kildonan high school six years ago. His goal is to get kids hooked on fishing.

“I want to instill a love for fishing as a recreational activity,” Au said.

But he never imagined he would lure so many students.

“The first year we had about 20,” said Au. “The next year, we had 80 students sign up.”

The group meets twice a week to troll the Red River in Lockport. Some of them are fresh fishers.

“I didn’t even know how to cast it,” said Pol Ferreres, an exchange student from Spain. “Getting the fish, it was really difficult the first time.”

Others are master anglers.

“The best part is coming out, talking with people,” said student Kieran Smith. “Catching a fish every once in a while is a bonus.”

But the days aren’t just filled with fish. The club’s curriculum also includes conservation.

“Speakers come in and talk to us, inform us about the environment,” said student Maddi Marinic. “Things that are happening in Lake Winnipeg with all the algae.”

“We also do the shoreline pick up after,” added Nicole Ganea. “People who see us do it, they’re impressed. They see how we keep it clean and respecting it.”

Big responsibilities that come with the reel.

“Part of fishing is helping one another out,” said Au. “That’s what I want to pass on to the kids as well.”

Photo courtesy of Global News.