Annual Kids Fishing Day Saturday at Clay Hill Farms

Published 9:40 pm Tuesday, June 15, 2021

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For 15 years, Pike County Kids Fishing Day at Clay Hill Farms was a special event for John and Carol Dorrill.

They looked forward to having kids come to fish the pond at Clay Hill Farms and they made sure everything was in place for a fun day of fishing.

“I don’t know of anything that made John happier than having kids fish in ‘their’ pond,” Carol Dorrill said. “Kids Fishing Day was very special to John and I want to make sure that we continue the traditional that he started.”

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John Dorrill’s death in January 2020 was met with great sadness throughout the community. His legacy continues in many ways. The tall, friendly man in the straw hat will be remembered by hundreds of kids who fished the Clay Hill Farms ‘kids’ pond on Father’s Day Week each year.

“The way John and Carol got involved with Kids Fishing Day, was about 17 years ago, now,” said Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officer Jerry Jinright. “At that time, Kids’ Fishing Day was being held at Pike County Lake. We had to put a net out across an area of the lake to kind of corral the catfish that were added so the kids had a chance to catch a fish. But, the fish would get caught in the net so that just didn’t work.”

John Dorrill took note and offered the Clay Hill Farms pond for the annual Kids’ Fishing Day.

“We could not have asked for a better place or for more dedicated supporters than John and Carol,” Jinright said. “Even though, their pond was well stocked, John had a truck load of fish brought in from Sutton Fish Hatchery in Ariton each year ‘just to make sure each child had a chance to catch a fish.’ He even had restrooms built to accommodate the kids. He said, ‘there are other fish ponds but this one belongs to the kids.’ It did and it still does, Carol is making sure of that.”

On Tuesday, Sutton Fish Hatchery delivered a truckload of catfish, ordered by Carol Dorrill, just to make sure each child has an opportunity to catch a fish on Saturday, Pike County Kids’ Fishing Day at Clay Hill Farms.

Kids ages 5 to 15 are invited to fish free of charge at “their” pond. Registration begins at 7 a.m. and fishing at 8 a.m. Kids should bring a hat, sunglasses, bait, rod and reel or cane pole and an ice chest for the fish.

Prizes will be awarded with top prize going to the kids with the heaviest string of fish in each age group.

Pike County Kids Fishing Day is sponsored and hosted by the Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officers Association, the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division and Walmart, which also provides lunch for the kids. The event is partially funded by the Federal Sport Fish Restoration Program.

Directions to Clay Hill Farm, from Troy, south on Highway 231, left on County Road 5522. Turn right onto County Road 5511 and left onto County Road 5523 (Norman Wilson Road). Clay Hill Farms is 1.4 miles on the left. Directions from Brundidge are north on Alabama 93, left onto County Road 5523 (Norman Wilson Road), 1.4 miles to Clay Hill Farms on the right.