Originally created 06/03/01

Catch of the day

Douglas Williams of Augusta put his hand on his grandson's head, telling him to keep an eye on his line, so Chad Thomas, 11, put down his Sprite and turned his attention to the water.

He expected the hotdog on his hook to work as well as it did for his first catch, a 1-pound catfish, which he caught just minutes after he sat down on the grassy bank of the pond.

"The waiting part gets on my nerves," Chad said. "One thing I don't have is patience."

The part Chad does like is frying up his catch - after Grandpa cleans it.

Chad was one of 150 children who lugged fishing poles, tackle boxes and plenty of bait out to the Mayor's Fishing Pond early Saturday morning for the Kids' Fishing Rodeo.

The event, sponsored by the Augusta Recreation and Parks Department, Augusta Mayor Bob Young and Lock and Dam Bait and Tackle shop, kicked off the reopening of the old favorite South Augusta fishing hole, which was closed in the fall for stocking.

"The pond was stocked with 12,000 catfish last November," Mr. Young said. "We decided last year if people are going to come out here and fish, we should make it a more meaningful fishing experience."

It was meaningful - and educational - for Michele Meehan and Katherine Gary of Martinez, who brought their sons fishing together.

"I'm here by default, because his father had to work at the last minute," Mrs. Meehan said. Her son, Shane, 6, didn't seem to mind that he had to teach her about weights, worms and location.

"Shane picked the spot and told me where to park," she said. It paid off for Shane, who caught a 1 1/2 -pound catfish, which tied for the largest catch of the day.

Taylor Gary, 4, was just excited to be there. He didn't want to get too close to the fish.

"They have blood inside them," he explained to his mom after posing with Shane for a picture.

"I got a fish; I got a fish; I'm so glad I got a fish," sang Shyyrod Holton, 5, of Augusta, as he and his father, Roderick, reeled in his first catch of the day.

When asked the secret to his success, Shyyrod whispered, "I had a big worm."

Reach Lisa M. Lohr at (706) 823-3332 or lisalohr@augustachronicle.com.


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