“Hooked,” a new comic strip about the
sport of fishing

Dennis James Knowles and Gail Ann Grizzell introduce “Hooked,” a comic strip based on characters taken from their new book, “Learn To Fish, A Step-By-Step Guide For Beginning Anglers.” The comic strip appears in northeast Ohio’s online newsroom Signal Cleveland.

“Hooked” was inspired by Knowles’ and Grizzell’s passion for fishing and commitment to taking kids fishing. In 2010, they started The Fishing Foundation (TFF), a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization based in greater Cleveland, Ohio; its mission is to improve people’s lives through the sport of fishing – specifically targeting youth in underserved areas. Since its inception, TFF has taken over 2,000 people fishing from shore in northeast Ohio.

“Hooked,” written and produced by Knowles and Grizzell, features a multicultural cast of teens who love to fish and decide to form a fishing club in Cleveland, Ohio. Together, through humorous adventures, they explore ways of becoming better anglers, learn about the environment, conservation, water safety, friendship and much more. Artist Jamie Sale is the illustrator.

In 2022, Knowles and Grizzell released the book, Learn to Fish: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginning Anglers. It is not the first instructional book on fishing; however, it is innovative. Research revealed that while there are books on the market on how to fish, none represents a landscape of ethnic inclusion like “Learn to Fish.”

“The positive response to the colorful original illustrations throughout the book inspired us to create a comic strip using the characters in the book,” said Grizzell. “Hooked is intended to motivate teens and adults to go outside and use northeast Ohio’s greatest assets, Lake Erie, the Cleveland Metroparks lakes and other bodies of water,” said Knowles.

According to a Nielsen Audience Report, on average, 10 hours a day are spent in front of an electronic device of some sort: including computers, cell phones, iPads, television, etc. The lack of outdoor exposure means a decreased understanding of the environment, less connection with nature and understanding of the need to protect the great outdoors. “At The Fishing Foundation, we believe that the best way to reverse the lack of outdoor exposure is to encourage the public to participate in “wildlife activities,” such as fishing,” said Knowles.

For more information about Hooked, and The Fishing Foundation contact Gail Grizzell at 440.463.4476 or via email at gail@thefishingfoundation.org.



Samantha (Sam)

A smart, studious member of the group and adventurous girl who is always ready to try new things. She loves exploring the outdoors and learning about different types of fish. She is loyal and is always willing to help



The jokester of the group. He may not take fishing as seriously as the others, but his quick wit and infectious sense of humor always keep the group in high spirits, even on days when the fish aren't biting.



A laid-back and easygoing boy who is content to spend his days fishing and relaxing by the water. He has a natural talent for fishing and often catches the biggest fish of the group. He is a great listener and always gives his friends helpful advice.


Jake’s older sister, and twin, is the spunky and adventurous member of the group. She's not afraid to get her hands dirty and is always up for trying new fishing techniques, no matter how unconventional they may seem.


An enthusiastic, curious angler who loves to fish. He is always eager to learn more about fishing techniques and is constantly trying to improve his skills. He often comes up with creative solutions to their fishing problems. His older twin sister is Janice.



An expert fisherman. With his trusty tackle box and vast knowledge of fishing techniques, Alex is always ready to help his friends catch the biggest fish in the lake.

Uncle U-Liss

An experienced fisherman who often gives the group helpful advice and tips. He owns a bait and tackle shop and is always happy to share his knowledge with young anglers.

Ms. Margaret

The parent to Jake and Janice and a seasoned angler who often joins the group on their fishing outings. She tells funny stories and shares her favorite fishing spots with the group.

The Fish

Tuna and Gill are mature fish. Junior, a younger fish is learning the ropes.