Local Man Creates Fishing Organization Aimed at Helping Others
Clarion County resident Corey Shawgo has organized Yankee Style Fishing, a fishing team that aims not only to compete but also to offer help to those who need it.
Born in nearby Venango County, Shawgo started fishing at a young age.
“I’ve been fishing since I was a kid,” Shawgo told exploreClarion.com. “It was always a relaxing thing and a coping thing.”
Shawgo explained that he went through a period of abuse when he was young and then grew up mostly “on the streets” and later in a number of juvenile detention centers.
His early experiences left scars, which led him to his first suicide attempt at just 11 years old.
“I went through it all and felt like no one really cared, other than some of my family who were there trying to help me.”
Shawgo said that he went from a troubled child to a rebellious young man. He spent a good deal of time in the juvenile justice system and then sometime later in the court system before pulling his life together.
He still finds fishing to be a soothing, relaxing experience and wanted to share that with others.
“For me, fishing was the one cure-all, just you and the fish, no stress, just relaxation.”
Deciding to share that experience with other people was the catalyst for him to organize Yankee Style Fishing.
Shawgo has been reaching out, looking for people who have been through similar situations and are dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts who might be interested in taking up fishing as a coping tool to join the team.
However, that’s just the first step. He also plans to not only compete, but also to create events and raise money to donate to a cause close to his heart.
“Right now, we’re working on figuring out our first bass fishing tournament,” Shawgo noted.
“We don’t have all the details yet. We’re still talking to the Fish and Boat Commission.”
Shawgo said they are hoping to organize the tournament at Kahle Lake.
“I haven’t heard of a tournament there in forever.”
They plan to donate 20 percent of winnings from all competitions to the Clarion County Coalition for Suicide Prevention.
The group is currently selling t-shirts and are working to develop a complete line of merchandise.
“This is all new to me, so I’m still kind of learning as I go,” he noted.
They are also setting up a booth at local events and are organizing a barbecue fundraiser for sometime in August.
Shawgo said he hopes to also create a youth program and speak about his experiences at events for youth, as well.
“We don’t want to just be a fishing team; we want to be a public name.”
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