By Richard Babich
Times West Virginian
An annual family fishing event begins at 9:30 a.m. today.
The Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources are having the annual Family Fishing Day. The event will take place today at Curtisville Lake, with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. and prizes being given away at 10:30 a.m.
“I can remember when we first stared this event,” DNR Capt. Roy E. Cool said. “We would have 250-300 people out there. It was a big, family-oriented event.”
Families begin registering at 9:30 a.m. for prizes. At 10 a.m., the MCPARC staff begins calling out tickets and handing out prizes.
“We hand out fishing material, tackle boxes with hooks and bobbers, and fishing poles,” MCPARC employee Calvin Todd said. “When we set up, we will give (children) a ticket. We have a bullhorn and we will say the number on the ticket, and they can come up and claim their prize.”
Cool said buoys are used to mark a fishing area so that no boats can interfere with children fishing.
The event kicks off when a stocking truck arrives.
“They get to see the stocking process, which is a very excitable point for the kids,” Cool said. “When the stock truck arrives, everyone gets serious.”
The event has a few DNR officers on hand. The officers walk around the area and help the kids bait and cast their lines.
Shawn White is a father who has attended the event with his children before.
“Whether they catch anything or not, (kids) always have fun fishing,” White said.
Shawn White’s son, Shawn White II, said he is excited for the event because he caught over 54 blue gill during last year’s Family Fishing Day.
Family Fishing Day is held on Good Friday and has been an event for nearly 15 years. Children who are over 15 years of age will need a valid West Virginia fishing license.
“I would encourage everyone to come out and bring their kids. Everyone has that opportunity to catch that first fish,” Cool said. “It is cool to see a kid catch his first trout. To see the face and expressions on a kid’s face when that happens is great.”
Email Richard Babich at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @rbabichTWV.