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Fishing event a big success

VALLEY — Rain, wind and overcast weather made up the majority of May in the Greater Valley area, but that didn’t stop locals from competing in the Chambers County Lake fishing tournament.

New lake managers Ted and Mike Craig offered $1,500 over the past three months for the tournament. In May, Rodney Beaty took home $500 for winning all three awards including largest fish, most number of fish, and highest total weight of fish.

Beaty’s winning fish was 10 pounds five ounces, his total catfish caught during the month tallied up to 40 and the total weight of all the fish he caught was just over 135 pounds.

“As far as we’re concerned it was certainly a success,” Craig said. “Anytime we can get that many people to fish for a whole month on and off its good.”

12 people competed throughout May, braving the inclement weather to fish on the lake and vie for the prize.

“The rain was a factor,” Craig said. “If it had been cooler, cold weather it would have had a major impact, a detrimental impact on us, but since it was still warm, generally in the eighties, everyone put their rain gear on and kept on fishing. These guys are dedicated.”

Though there was a $15 entry fee per tournament, the Craig Brothers said that they held the tournament for the community, receiving no compensation of their own.

“Its one hundred percent payout, we don’t make anything off of it,” Craig said. “My brother and I are retired and we look at this as a community action thing.”

The tournaments may be over, but their community action through fishing will extend through June. Planned for June 23, a children’s fishing rodeo will be held at Chambers County Lake and open to the public.

“What we are trying to do in encourage young people to get involved with the outdoors and to get involved specifically with fishing,” Craig said. “It provides for better bonding between the kids and their parents or grandparents or guardians or whoever. We are hoping to see over a hundred, maybe two hundred.”

The fishing rodeo will offer a day of fishing fun for kids. Registration will begin at seven in the morning, an hour before the fishing starts at eight.

“You’re gonna hold a kid’s attention for three hours, that’s about it, so it’ll be over around 11:30,” Craig said.

When the attention spans run thin there will still be plenty of activities for the kids who come out. All of the proceeds from the fishing tournament entry fees along with some donations from the Chamber of Commerce and several private parties will go towards entertainment. Activities include meeting members of the Sheriff’s Department, playing games and riding in a small train. A hot dog lunch will be provided.