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Kids fishing rodeo set for this weekend

CHAMBERS COUNTY — Following the three-month-long fishing tournaments to spearhead the summer season, Chambers County Lake managers Ted and Mike Craig will be holding a kids fishing rodeo this Saturday, June 23.

Kids aged 12 and younger will be able to compete for the biggest catch while enjoying the lake with their family and community. Registration starts at 7 a.m. CT Saturday before the fishing begins 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,” Ted Craig said in a recent interview.

During the event, participants will be provided with free red worms for bait and free water to keep them hydrated. Door prizes will be given out via a drawing and a select prize will be for whoever reels in the biggest fish, no matter the type.

“Since the fish are all mixed up in the lake, it’ll just be the largest fish that wins,” Mike Craig said. “It could be a carp, it could be a crappie, anything really.”

When the fishing is over, all participants will get a free hot dog lunch and their families can purchase one for themselves. All cooking will be done by Chambers County Sheriff Sid Lockhart. For those who aren’t fishing, they can check out a Cusetta Volunteer Fire Truck and miniature train rides will be available.

Mike Craig hopes the day won’t just offer fun, but a spark that could set off a lifelong hobby.

“I’d like for them to take home an enjoyable experience,” he said. “I want them to have a good time and get out. They may not even catch anything, but I want them to enjoy getting outdoors and getting some experience with fishing. This could influence them for the rest of their lives.”

He and his brother recently celebrated their one year anniversary of managing the lake. Since taking over, they have helped expand what’s available there, including more camping areas and picnicking locations. Events like the tournaments and this rodeo are their way of providing a service to the area.

“We look at it, my brother and I, from a standpoint of this being a public lake,” Mike said. “It belongs to the people. We are only the managers and we will do everything we possibly can to make every visit an enjoyable event.”

The lake managers offered $1,500 over March, April and May for fishing tournaments that challenged participants with catching crappie, bass and catfish, respectively. Last month, Rodney Beaty took home $500 for winning all three awards including largest fish, most number of fish, and highest total weight of fish.