THOMSON -- It's hard to keep a good fisherman indoors.
On a day that saw the rain fall nearly all morning, Kids' Fishing Day was June 7 at the McDuffie County Public Fishing Area in Dearing. Despite the weather, several small groups fished throughout the morning. The event is held by the state's Natural Resources Department several times during the summer, allowing children to learn the sport of fishing or improve their skills.
"Basically we do it to introduce the children to the sport of fishing" said fisheries technician George Atnip. "We want to give the kids the opportunity to have outdoor experiences, introduce them to outdoor activities, and one of those is fishing. We want to give them the thrill of catching their first fish."
Atnip estimated that about 80 percent of anglers who drop a line in Dearing's pond have a chance of catching at least one fish during the experience. The Natural Resources Department specifically stocks the pond with channel catfish for Kids' Fishing Day.
"They pretty much stand a real good chance," he added. "I love it and I love to see these kids come out," said Atnip. "Especially the children who've never caught a fish before. To watch these kids sit on the bank, to get a bite, and see the child feel what that fish feels like pulling on the end of the line, watch them rare back on the bank, they have a lot of fun and that's the whole purpose of the event.
Curtis Davis (left), 11, and Jesse Davis, 8, fight the rain Saturday morning at Kids' Fishing Day in Dearing.
Photo by Elwood Hamilton
"We want to give the kids and families the opportunity to spend time together and do something they enjoy doing."
Though typically the event attracts hundreds of people, on Saturday that number dropped because of the weather.
But that didn't stop the fish from biting.
As 11-year-old Jonathan Murders pulled in a baby channel catfish, he gave a thumbs up.
It was the first catch of the day for an accomplished young fisherman.
"I've fished since I was about 5 years old," he said. "I've caught probably over 100 of them, and I've caught three types -- largemouth bass, big catfish, and some bream."
Fishing definitely is his favorite pastime.
"It's just fun to be outdoors," he said.
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