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Sportman’s club hosts kiddie fishing rodeo to help kids unplug

Local parents and their children loaded up their fishing poles and bait this weekend to participate in Troup County Sportsman’s Club 2019 Kiddie Fishing Rodeo on Saturday.

“We do this event for the kids,” said Troup County Sportsman’s Club member Albert Barnes. “This is completely free for them, and we provide the prizes and lunch for them.” 

The twice a year fishing rodeo is one way the Sportsman’s Club helps kids unplug and experience the outdoors. 

“We want to get them exposed to fishing,” Barnes said. “We get them away from their phones, tablets and that kind of stuff. It makes them see something besides a phone.” 

Another club member, Gary Solt, said that this event has been held for approximately 40 years. Parents who went to the fishing rodeo when they were younger have started bring their children.

“We have been coming out here for many, many years,” said Gary Waldrop, who brings his grandson Colton Fomdy to the rodeo every year.

The pond on the club’s property was stocked with fish, so children were almost guaranteed to catch one. 

“I love catching fish, and I caught a big catfish today,” said 9-year-old Timothy Chatham. “I liked it, and it a hurt a little bit pulling the fish off.”

The rodeo featured three age categories, ages 4 to 6-years-old, 7 to 9-years-old and 10 to 12-years-old. All age categories received a prize for the largest fish caught and one grand prize for the most bream caught.

“I have been doing this for multiple years now,” said 10-year-old Fomdy. “I really like it. My first year doing it, I won a fishing pole.”