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Kids fishing day draws more than 200 participants

Despite hit and miss rain showers in and around McDuffie County, it didn't seem to bother more than 200 participants - the majority of them being youngsters and teenagers - from soaking a hook and catching catfish in the state ponds last Saturday near Dearing.

The event, sponsored by officials with the Thomson Housing Authority, was held at the McDuffie County Public Fishing Area, off Ellington Airline Road.

"Everybody seemed to have a lot of fun," said Carolyn Andrews, a representative of the local housing authority, who helped coordinate the kids fishing event along with representatives of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Officials with DNR maintain the state ponds, which become so popular between now and the end of the summer. "Most of the kids who came caught their limit of five catfish."

The fishing event began at 8 a.m. and ended at 1 p.m.

One of the stipulations placed on youngsters and teenagers up to 15 was that they be accompanied by an adult, according to Mrs. Andrews. "Since we believed that we would have a large turnout, we needed to assure that the kids were safe around the ponds.

Little 5-year-old Jake Alvin "T.J." Tice Jr., son of Jake and Elizabeth Tice of Dearing, was among those fishing in one of two ponds, adjacent each other.

"I think he likes this a lot," said Mr. Tice of his son, who seemed as content as could be standing on the bank of the pond, while holding onto his rod and reel.

"Fishing is a lot of fun," remarked 10-year-old Tyson Curry, a third grader at Thomson Elementary School.

Curry proudly displayed one of the catfish he had just caught, while his friend, Casey Williams, 11, a fourth grader at R.L. Norris Elementary School in Thomson, compared it to the size of one he caught earlier.

For Haley Lane, 8, a second grader at Warren Road Elementary School in Augusta, it was an experience she won't soon forget, said her grandmother.

"This is a lot of fun," said Lane. "I want to go fishing all the time, now."

She and her sister had nearly caught their limit of fish shortly after 11 a.m., as rain began to fall.

For those that didn't have rod and reels, Mrs. Andrews had spare ones that they used. "We tried to accommodate everybody as best we could," she said. "It was a wonderful day despite the rain showers."

Web posted on Thursday, April 17, 2008

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