Lured into learning
Two Harbors High School art teacher Steve Wasko is an avid fisherman. Thanks to the chance happening of principal Jay Belcastro seeing him making crawler harnesses with Colorado Blades for a fishing tournament, he now has been able to add a lure making class to the school's' curriculum.
"It was a decision based on looking for new opportunities for students in the art area, and based on Two Harbors' location we knew this class would be in high demand," Belcastro said.
The lure making class started a couple weeks ago. There were 78 students that signed up, but was limited to 28 students in Wasko's art room during sixth period. The class runs 57 minutes for 18 weeks, four days a week. This is a 10th through 12th grade class for boys and girls where the majority are juniors and seniors. Wasko said he is excited for the potential of a permanency in the art curriculum.
The students will be learning to make spinner baits for Northern Pike and Muskie, the process of filling molds for plastic worms, and night crawler harnesses. They will also study some of the different patterns and colors used on spoons and reasons for using them, before hand-painting and airbrushing their own for trolling the almighty Lake Superior. Lastly, the students will each build a 6-foot, two-piece fiberglass fishing rod. For the small $50 art fee, students will get to keep two spinners, an assortment of plastic worms, 15 or more night crawler harnesses, nine trolling spoons and one fishing rod.
Wasko is also a member of the Twin Ports Walleye Association. He has received donations from local businesses Marine General, Northland Tackle, and hook maker Gamakatsu. He is looking at the possibility of the Two Harbors Fishing Club bringing the students out on their 14-boat fleet toward the end of the semester to put their tools to the test.
"The opportunity came knocking on the door and we opened it," Wasko said.
Wasko has received positive feedback and said he is looking at potentially starting a high school fishing team, which are present in more southern schools.
Based on the turnout Wasko believes this has a good chance of becoming a recurring class for future students. He has various students in his classroom all throughout the day working on their projects.
"The kids love it," he said.
He's looking at cooperating the class with business education so students can learn how to market their creations.