About 200 kids turn out for Elks fishing rodeo

June 12, 1999|By ANDREA ROWLAND

HUYETTS CROSSROADS - They turned out in droves armed with rods and tackle boxes.

About 200 kids got hooked on fishing Saturday at the 45th Annual Charles E. Price Memorial Fishing Rodeo for Children at the Hagerstown Elks Lodge 378 picnic grounds.

Located just north of Hagerstown on Md. 63, the park's meandering stream was dammed in three places after being stocked with some 500 trout, said Event Chairman George Hamilton, a member of Hagerstown Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge 378.

Troupe Run and Rush Run, which dump into the Conococheague Creek, converge at the park.

"There's some big fish in there," Hamilton said.

Just ask 6-year-old Hannah Misner, of Waynesboro, Pa., who won one of the day's top prizes- a $50 savings bond and a new bicycle- for reeling in a 17-inch trout.


"It felt really hard," Hannah said. "My mom and dad and me almost fell in the water."

Hannah said she hooked her winner - the biggest fish caught on Saturday - using "green and orange bait" with the fishing rod she won at last year's rodeo.

The day's other top winner was 10-year-old Philip Thurber, who hooked a 16.5-inch trout.

Though some participants baited their hooks with minnows, cheese, squid and earthworms, most kids seemed to prefer Hannah's winning choice of fish food.

It's a foul-smelling, flourescent-colored, doughlike substance called "Power Bait."

Last year's top winner, 11-year-old Autumn Peterson, of Hagerstown, was relying upon the strange bait and her angling skills for a repeat performance.

She said she only rode her new bike one time before it was stolen.

Andy Hill, 12, coupled his Power Bait with an earthworm, but said he got no bites.

The only thing 10-year-old Ashley Fahey caught on Saturday was a suntan. Her sister, Molly Fahey, 8, said she hooked some seaweed.

Brendan Norris, 10, of Hagerstown, tried using salmon bait to catch his trout. His rod hardly bobbed, he said.

But Ryan Moser, 8, of Maugansville, caught a 15-inch fish and three smaller trout for dinner. He said he prefers the angling to the eating.

Not Evan Strausner. The 12-year-old from Greencastle, Pa., said he was looking forward to eating the six trout he hooked on Saturday.

The 13-inch fish Justin Shank, of Emmitsburg, Md., hooked wasn't his only reward for the day. The 9-year-old's father, Duane Shank, taught his son such valuable angling tips as how to cast under a bridge, untangle a line and remove a fish from the hook.

Hamilton said providing a safe, fun outlet for children is the purpose of the annual event, which was renamed 21 years ago to honor the community-active former sheriff of Washington County.

The Elks provided the luncheon items and prizes - which included two savings bonds, and 12 bicycles, portable stereos, disposable cameras and fishing rods - at no cost to the participants, Hamilton said.

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