Yippee-ki-yay, get along little fishy.
A fishing rodeo was held Saturday in east Cobb, but instead of roping and riding the slippery little critters, all the participants had to do was hook them on a line.
This was the second annual fishing rodeo at Hyde Farm Park, said John Purcell, recreation coordinator for Cobb County Parks, but the county has held a similar event at Lost Mountain Park for over 15 years.
Purcell said a pond at the park was stocked at the beginning of the year with brim, bass and catfish.
Kids from 3 years old to 16 showed up with their rods, tackle boxes and a variety of bait ranging from worms and flies to hot dogs and pieces of corn.
Some of the younger kids seemed more interested in seeing how far they could cast the line than in actually hooking any fish, but everyone appeared to be having fun.
“A lot of these kids are first-time fishermen, so when they catch a fish, they get real excited because it’s their first time,” Purcell said with a laugh.
Every time a kid hooked a fish, he or she would run it to the judges’ tent to be measured and weighed before throwing it back. One constant fixture at the tent was 10-year-old Sebastian Quinones, a fourth-grader at Sedalia Park Elementary in east Cobb, who kept running back and forth to turn in newly caught fish.
Sebastian said his trick was fishing in a shallow, shady area toward the back of the pond, and he said he has a special technique he uses just for bass fishing.
“When I’m trying to catch a bass, I just wiggle it a little bit, and they think it’s real,” he said. “Then, when they go at it, I just leave it there and they come get it.”
Sebastian said he has been fishing for half his life and hopes to continue angling as an adult.
“I like to catch fish, obviously, but it’s like, the passion,” he said. “When I grow up, I want to be a fisher, a cool fisher.”
After two hours of fishing, the 20 or so children had caught 39 fish, and parks staff gathered around to give out awards to the kids who angled the five largest fish.
In first place was Chase Palmer, a sophomore at Kennesaw Mountain, who caught an 8-ounce bass.
Following Chase were 8-year-old Anthony Brock of Birney Elementary with 5.2-ounce brim, 6-year-old Kelly Gilbert from Murdock Elementary with a 4.6-ounce brim, Winston Cash, a second-grader at St. Benedict’s Episcopal School in Smyrna with a 4.5-ounce brim and 6-year-old Elias Garcia from the Stonehaven School with a 4.3-ounce brim.
Each of the winners received a plaque and a new tackle box.