Wednesday, October 14, 2020

DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Lesli Barnett & Dave Saidoo

Lesli Barnett and Dave Saidoo are two kayakers with a passion for bobber gobbling. What is bobber gobbling?

Bobber gobbling is the act of rescuing fishing bobbers and lures from trees and shorelines of lakes or other waterways. In the process of bobber gobbling, Lesli and Dave also collect lead weights, hooks, fishing line, and more.

While kayaking one day, Lesli and Dave came across a lost bobber stuck in a tree and managed to rescue it.

“It was fun and added interest to an otherwise typically enjoyable kayak trip. Then there was a lure, then another bobber and “bobber gobbling” was created,” Dave says. “We are now up to 1,088 bobbers and lures rescued.”

The pair enjoys collecting as much discarded fishing tackle as they can. They find it worthwhile not only because it is good for the environment and wildlife, but it is also good exercise and provides a shared hobby.

One of the best parts of bobber gobbling is being able to enjoy the sights and wildlife on the water.

Dave and Lesli have seen turtles, ducks, snakes, and a couple of bald eagles. Helping to keep lakes clean so these types of animals can thrive is important.

“These are the only lakes we have, and they should be respected and protected,” Dave says. “From an aesthetic perspective, bobbers, lures, and fishing line in trees is a deterrent from the natural beauty of the lake.”

Dave and Leslie also have met plenty of appreciative people who are thankful for their work.

One day, the pair was paddling along and saw a very nice frog lure in a tree.

“We get very excited when we find beautiful lures. I started to rescue it and a fisherman nearby said that he had just lost it not 10 minutes prior,” Dave says.

On the side of their kayak named “the extractor” it reads: Tackle Search & Rescue.

“Who would have ever expected for a “tackle search and rescue” team to come by minutes after a lure is lost?”

If you are interested in joining the fun, it’s as simple as taking a walk or paddle around a lake or other waterway.

“We have an inflatable sea eagle 360 which is perfect! Easy to transport, set up, and put away,” Dave says. “We pack a lunch and go out for the day bobber gobbling. It is the best of times and we believe others will also find joy as well.”

Dave and Lesli’s fifth version of their ‘bobber gobbler’ -- a repurposed golf ball retriever -- has been specially modified to help them collect as many items as they can easily.

“If this is all too much,” Dave says, “go for a walk around a lake with a trash bag, it is that simple.”

If you would like to see their collection of loot or curious how you could get involved as well, follow Dave and Lesli on Instagram @Bobbergobblers.  

Know of a good natured Pennsylvanian who is passionate about outdoor recreation and/or conservation that we should feature? Contact DCNR by sending email to: to nominate someone.

  For more information on state parks and forests and recreation in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s website, Click Here to sign up for the Resource newsletter, Visit the Good Natured DCNR Blog,  Click Here for upcoming events, Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

(Reprinted from the October 14 DCNR Resource newsletter.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy.)

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