Hundreds of families gathered Saturday around the pond in Rolater Park in Cave Spring for the annual Coosa Valley Trout Unlimited Kids Fishing Day. The event is typically scheduled on the Saturday before Father’s Day.
The weather cooperated and an early cloud cover provided perfect fishing conditions.
Will Alford, 9 and his brother Chase Alford, 7, from Cave Spring each caught their limit of five fish in less than 20 minutes.
Johnny James, 9, Lindale, caught five big trout which he said more than made up for last year when he didn’t catch any. Johnny has been attending the event for years. “It’s the first year I ever caught my limit,” he said.
As often as not, the children didn’t want to have anything to do with handling the trout once they reeled them in. Those smiles that flashed as they hooked the fish turned to frowns of fear as moms or dads were called upon to remove the trout from the hook and drop them into coolers.
Paul O’Mara, one of the organizers with Trout Unlimited, said that the Department of Natural Resources must have stocked the pond with unusually hungry fish this year.
Close to 1,800 fish were stocked from the DNR Summerville hatchery for the event this year.
Corey Latham, 6, from Dallas, Ga., said he loves to fish. “I don’t think trout fishing is very hard at all,” Corey said. Both he and his sister Ciara Latham were reeling in his as fast as they could throw bait into the water.
David Harper, pastor at Hollywood Baptist Church in Rome, was on the banks of the pond with grandchildren Kyle and Kaleb Henderson. “This is the best thing every year to bring the whole family out for,” Harper said.
Ronny Cooper, president of the Coosa Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited, said the main purpose of the event is to encourage children to grow up and enjoy fishing.
“It’s a great time for families, that’s why we have it the day before Father’s Day, to promote family’s coming out, Cooper said. “Hopefully, these are future Trout Unlimited members that will grow up and help us conserve trout fishing waters and enjoy a lifetime hobby.”