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Fishing Day reels in nearly three dozen anglers

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office reminded several local youth of the wonders of the outdoors Saturday at American Legion’s pond during the 14th annual Kids Fishing Day.

Thirty-two young anglers were able to enjoy a bit of fresh air and relaxation after the sheriff’s office populated the pond with more than a grand’s worth of catfish for the occasion. 

Butler County sheriff Kenny Harden said that, though he and the department prepared for up to 50 students, the turnout—and the event itself—was ideal.

“I think it was probably one of the best years we’ve had,” Harden said. “We were able to give more door prizes.  We gave 20 reels away and a lifetime fishing license.  And in the past, we’ve been able to give anywhere from 12-15.

“And I think the kids really enjoyed it. They all caught fish. And some of these kids have no place to fish.  Some of these kids have never been fishing. And when they catch a catfish that weighs one or two pounds, it’s just an excited look on their face.  It’s worth everything we do.”

The fishing day drew aspiring anglers of all experience levels to American Legion’s pond, and all of them caught a fish at some point during the three-hour session.

Harden said that the act of fishing was just as valuable, if not more so, than the fish themselves.

“And that’s what this is about,” he continued. “It’s about getting the kids introduced to the outdoors, and coming out and having a good time catching fish. 

“In the past, we had it for children ages 5-15 years old, and we found that the 15-year-olds knew how to fish, and the little kids would get in their way, and the little kids wouldn’t get to do what they wanted to do.  So we changed the age group from 5-15 to 5-12.”

Regardless of the ages allowed, Harden said that he was confident the event would continue well into the future. And that’s thanks in no small part to the fishing day’s sponsors.

“This is our 14th year doing it, and we plan to continue to do it,” Harden said. “It’s putting something back into the community.  We’re trying to let people know that we’re there with them.

“I’d like to thank Coastal Conservation, Piggly Wiggly, Food Giant, Fred’s and Walmart.  If it wasn’t for these sponsors, it would be hard for us to do it.”