Chambers County’s kids fishing rodeo makes a splash

Published 9:52 am Tuesday, June 6, 2023

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On Saturday, the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce held its first annual Kids Fishing Rodeo. 

“It was definitely a success, and we look forward to doing this again next year,” said Chamber Director Carrie Wood. “Hopefully, we can grow this event in the years to come.”

Almost 100 kids and their families gathered around the lake at 9 a.m. From 9:30 to 12 p.m., children fished for the catfish. The chamber deposited 750 pounds of catfish in the lake for the event, 10 of which were tagged.

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The event was in partnership with the US Army Corps of Engineers. Supervisory Natural Resource Specialist Ben Williams and many other rangers attended the event to ensure children’s safety. 

Many families came out to Hardley Creek Park at West Point Lake for their first time participating in a fishing rodeo. 

“For our first year’s event at Hardley Creek Park, it was a great day. Everybody had a great time,” Wood said. “We had a great time watching all of the kids, and the reactions that they had as they were reeling in these fish back to back.”

Two of the tagged fish were caught by Jamison Chappell, who won a cash prize of $100 for each fish sponsored by the Four Seasons Heating and Air. 

Other sponsors for the event included Southern Harber Resort and Marina, the City of West Point, Fishing University, Thompson Carriers Ink, Bluffton Bait and Tackle, All Around Service LLC and Chambley’s. 

“We also want to give an extra thank you to Johnny’s Pizza West Point as they provided a free meal to each registered attendee,” Wood said. 

In addition to Four Season, Chambley’s donated T-shirts and fishing bait to the winners of the tagged fish. Wood also thanked The Coffee Cabin by Gimme Some Sugar for keeping everyone hydrated throughout the event.

Wood also said that the event was a success thanks to Chamber ambassadors who volunteered their time on Saturday. 

“I want to say thank you from me to the Chamber ambassadors, who were willing to take time out of their weekend to volunteer for this great Chamber event,” Wood said.