Wallback Lake was once again alive with youth and families this past Saturday as the annual Youth Fishing Derby got underway.
Young anglers from all over came to try and catch their limit of trout and for a chance at a host of great prizes. One hundred sixty two youngsters participated in the event, and no one seemed to leave unhappy. There were some great prizes given away, from fishing rods to complete tackle boxes. As a matter of fact, some of the adults mouths were watering at the prizes. It was all great fun for the kids as well as the parents and those involved. Tons of work went into the event, and a standing ovation goes out to Connie Sizemore. Without her diligence and love for the youth of this county, this great event would go in the toilet, as other good things seem to do.
The weather was threatening to upset the apple cart a little, but decided to move past without causing too much trouble. It got a little wet in the end, but after all, its fishing and sometimes you just have to keep your bait in the water to have supper that evening. Towmater and Lightning McQueen made a personal appearance to show the kids that you don’t have to be human to enjoy a good fishing tournament; it was good to see them there. Joe Crowder was on hand to show his fly tying skills to the youth and to inspire some to do the same. Ben Coulter and crew of the Corps of Engineers were on hand for the water safety and to hand out some goodies. Along with him was Bobber, the dog, who greeted kids and put some smiles on their faces. Put plain and simple, it was a good time despite the threatening rain and cold temperatures. In truth, the temperature warmed a little when the big trout was on the line.
One cannot put a price on the thrill of the fight between a fisherman and the fish. There are a lot of people to thank for the event as many volunteers assured its success. There were those who did traffic control, handed out prizes, made donations to this very worthy cause, served refreshments and waded out in the water to retrieve baits and the occasional fish. Last, but certainly not the least, was Jack Sizemore who was the official round starter with a mighty swing and rattle of the new and improved sacred cowbell that started the event in motion. As always it is good to see that there are still people in this county that care enough to get the youth involved in something other than an electronic device. There are many who donated items for prizes that deserve to have a pat on the back as well. When the little fisherman grabbed a new fishing pole or perhaps a new tackle box and their eyes and smiles lit up the day, it was all worth it. After all, that’s what it was all about. Once again, thanks to those involved for yet another successful derby!