#039;Take a Kid Fishing#039; this Saturday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 4, 2003

More than 120 kids wet worms and pulled in big ones at &uot;Take a Kid Fishing Day&uot; at Blue Springs last weekend.

Jerry Jinright, Alabama Wildlife Freshwater Fisheries, hopes the turnout for Pike County's &uot;Take a Kid Fishing Day&uot; Saturday at Pike County Lake will be just as successful.

The annual event is sponsored by Alabama Wildlife Freshwater Fisheries and Wal-Mart with support from Sutton Fish Hatchery in Ariton.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The purpose of the free fishing day for kids is to introduce them to the lifetime sport.

Kids that get hooked on fishing are less likely to get hooked on other things, Jinright said. Wal-Mart supports &uot;Take a Kid Fishing&uot; nationwide.

Monique Hendrix, Wal-Mart sales associate at the Troy center, said the event is sponsored by the sporting goods department in an effort get kids interested in the sport, to bring families together for a day of fun and to promote the stores large line of fishing equipment.

&uot;The kids have to bring their own fishing equipment, but Wal-Mart will give each one a tackle box filled with treats - snacks and other things,&uot; she said. &uot;Wal-Mart will also donate prizes for the largest fish and smallest fish caught.&uot;

The weather is expected to cooperate and there will be no shortage of fish to be caught.

On Wednesday, Sutton Fish Hatchery released 500 pounds of catfish into the kid's fishing corral.

Mike Newman, Fisheries biologist, said that translates into about 600 catfish.

&uot;Most of the catfish are between three-quarters and a pound and a half,&uot; Newman said. &uot;Fred Sutton has thrown in some big ones — just for the thrill of it. So, the fishing will be good because the fish are in there.&uot;

Wal-Mart donated the fish for Kids' Day and Sutton's Hatchery threw in the really big ones. Wal-Mart also will treat the kids and their adult supervisors to a hamburger and hotdog lunch.

The first hooks may hit the water at 9 a.m. and fishing will end at 11:30 a.m.

Kids ages 5-12 are eligible to participate but an adult must accompany them.

&uot;Take a Kid Fishing&uot; is not a competition or a tournament, Newman said. &uot;It's just a way to introduce kids to fishing. We want them to begin fishing at a young age and grow into it. It's a sport they can enjoy for a lifetime. We want them to start young so they can get the full benefit of the pleasure fishing brings. And, the fishing licenses help support the Alabama Wildlife Freshwater Fisheries. So, this free fishing day for kids benefits us all.&uot;

&uot;Take a Kid Fishing&uot; is held annually in conjunction with Free Fishing Weekend.

&uot;Most states participate in a free fishing weekend to promote the sport,&uot; Jinright said. &uot;This weekend is free fishing weekend in Alabama and people can fish without a license, but hopefully they will enjoy it so much that they will want to buy a license and keep fishing.&uot;