Fishing day for children held near Mt. Pleasant
More than 70 children participated in the annual Kid's Fishing Education Day sponsored recently by the Bridgeport Sportsmen's Club.
In its seventh year, the club organizes the event to familiarize area youth with fishing and allow them to practice their skills.
“It gives the children an understanding of the different fish and helps them learn how to bait, hook a fish and reel it in,” said Teri Shropshire, the club's fish and game secretary. “The surprise on their faces when they catch one is priceless.”
The pond was stocked with 60 trout for the event, club Chairman Ken Provlic said. The event was open to the public and participants brought their own fishing equipment.
The biggest trout of the day was caught by Halie Keefer, 12, of Bullskin. Keefer received a trophy for her 22-inches-long fish and the club had it mounted for her. The mounted fish will be displayed in the clubhouse for three years.
Keefer said she was excited about the fishing event.
“I come every year, but this is the first time I won biggest fish,” Keefer said. Last year, Keefer said she won a fishing rod as a raffle prize.
Winners in the three categories included:
• Children, ages newborn to 5 years old, first place: 4-year-old Brianna Provlic with a fish measuring 14 inches long; second place: Zoey Provlic, 5, with a 13.5-inches-long fish; and third place: Rylee Martinosky, 3, with a 13.25-inches-long
• Children, ages 6 to 10, first place: Steven Cook, 9, with a fish measuring 21 inches long; second place: Susan Fosbrink, 10, with a fish measuring 16.125 inches; and third place: Isabell Bricker, 6, with a 16-inches-long fish.
• Children ages 11 to 15, first place: Halie Keefer, 12, with a fish measuring 22 inches long; second place: Rita Miller, 13, with a fish measuring 18.5-inches long; and third place: Zach Brier, 13, with a 16-inches-long fish.
Many local establishments donated money, prizes and supplies to make the event a success, Provlic said.
Each category's winners got first choice on the prize tables and the remaining prizes were raffled off throughout the day.
“We make sure every kid leaves with something,” Provlic said.
Additionally, each child was given a gift bag to take home with items such as coupons for free meals at local fast food restaurants and small fishing supplies.
“The event's been growing every year,” said Provlic.
Cami DiBattista is a freelance writer.