Kids love fishing

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 7, 2003

Rain clouds threatened but none of the 125 plus kids who participated in "Take a Kid Fishing Day" seemed to notice.

They were too busy dropping hooks in Pike County Lake in hopes of landing a big one. And, many of them did.

For some, it was their first fish. Others took home the biggest fish ever and, some, the most fish. But, if any of the young fishermen went home disappointed, they slipped away when no one was looking.

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Fay Kidd, Wal-Mart support manager, said the kids' fishing day was very successful.

"All the kids seemed to have a good time and the numbers indicate that 'Take a Kid Fishing' has grown since last year," she said. "And, they were really catching the fish. Wal-Mart is proud to be a sponsor of this annual event."

Wal-Mart, sponsor of the event along with Alabama Wildlife Freshwater Fisheries, stocked a section of the lake with about 600 additional catfish to give the kids every opportunity to catch a fish. Wal-Mart gave each participant a tackle box filled with treats and provided a hotdog lunch for the kids and the adults who accompanied them.

The company also held drawings for "outdoor" prizes that include rods and reels and fishing caps.

Trophies were awarded to the kids who caught the biggest fish and the smallest fish.

Kentavia Reynolds of Brundidge landed the biggest cat. It weighed in at 5 pounds and 12 ounces.

The youngster said he fished with chicken livers because that's what catfish like best. His step-father Ira Lampley has been teaching him to fish. However, Lampley said if Kentavia keeps catching fish that big, he might take a lesson or two from him.

Joshua Noel appeared to be as proud of his trophy for the smallest fish as Kentavia was of his.

Joshua's fish weighed three-quarters of a pound - a good eating size. But, Joshua wasn't sure he wanted to eat his trophy fish. "I might put it back," he said.

Take a Kid Fishing Day was fun for the entire family and family members from grandma and grandpa to uncles and aunts and friends accompanied the kids.

Joe Frank Walters was the "tackle" on his four grandsons' fishing team.

"They keep me busy with the tackle box," Walters said, as he tied on another hook. "That's what I'm here for - to keep them fishing." Before he could say more, his grandson, Wyatt, was coming up the bank after having snagged his hook. "What now?"

What now for all the kids who participated?

Jerry Jinright, Alabama Wildlife Freshwater Fisheries Enforcement, said hopefully the youngsters will become more interested in fishing as a sport.

"The purpose of a free fishing day for kids is to introduce them to the lifetime sport of fishing," he said. "Hopefully, they will enjoy fishing and continue to fish as adults. The fishing licenses they will purchase will help support the Alabama Wildlife Freshwater Fisheries."

Jinright expressed appreciation to Wal-Mart, on behalf of the Fisheries, for its continued support of Take a Kid Fishing Day.