LIVINGSTON, NJ — Austin Schragen, a 12-year-old Livingston resident who has been fishing since he was old enough to hold a rod, is currently offering fishing lessons to other kids in town for $10 per session.

“I thought because there are no camps and lots of kids are home, it would be a good activity to get outside and teach,” the preteen said, adding that fishing is something that anyone can learn to do. “I just want more kids to learn how to fish. It’s a hobby that you could do for the rest of your life, and I just want to pass it on.

“Maybe kids that I taught how to fish can then teach others how to fish, or their own kids one day…Ever since my dad first taught me, I loved it, and I wanted other kids to have that feeling too.”

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Austin’s mother, Danielle Schragen, took to local community groups on Facebook to begin alerting other families about her son’s summer endeavor.

She describes Austin as being “easy going, funny and patient” while also characterizing him as “an observer, a thinker and comfortable with himself.”

“There is an energy about him that makes him so easy to be with,” she said, expressing pride in her son for starting his own business at such a young age.

Danielle explained that Austin conceived the idea and figured out how he wanted to conduct the lessons on his own. Her only contribution to his business has been making runs to the store to purchase bait.

She added that Austin is a very outdoorsy young man whose other passions also include lacrosse, football and skiing.

In addition to frequenting local bodies of water—such as the Wawayanda Lake in Hewitt, Spruce Run Reservoir in Clinton, Round Valley Reservoir in Lebanon and along the Passaic River—Austin also enjoys finding new places new fish throughout New Jersey. According to his mother, Austin often consults mobile fishing applications to find new lakes or reservoirs to visit according to other users’ ratings.  

Austin always releases the fish he catches, so none wind up on his dinner plate.

To inquire about Austin's local fishing lessons, contact Danielle at Danikup@hotmail.com.

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