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Fishin' as a frenzy at Pangborn Park

June 20, 2005

tarar@herald-mail.com

Andrea Depre's rainbow trout flopped around in the grass as the 10-year-old crouched down to have a look.

"She reeled it in herself," Andrea's mother, Gwen Moats, said Saturday afternoon.

As of about 2 p.m., the fish was the first Andrea caught since arriving at the park in the late morning.

Andrea said she likes fishing, but that she kept losing the bait.

Moats, who said she planned to eat the fish, and Andrea were among many who packed Pangborn Park in Hagerstown for the MIHI Fishing Frenzy.

"This is great," Moats said. "It gets people out together."

N. Linn Hendershot, MIHI chairman, said more than 1,000 people gathered in the park for the third annual event and 234 people registered to fish.

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The Maryland Department of the Environment stocked the pond with 800 rainbow trout from the Albert M. Powell State Fish Hatchery, Hendershot said.

MIHI (Many Individuals Helping Individuals) worked with the City of Hagerstown to put on the event, which was open to children 12 and younger, those 65 and older and anyone with a disability.

Participants competed for three titles. The overall winner was Dalton Wilson of Hagerstown for catching five trout that weighed the most. His five trout totaled 5 pounds, 12 ounces.

Kyle Noll of Mercersburg, Pa., received the biggest trout award by reeling a 1-pound, 14-ounce fish. George Carpenter, 77, of Maugansville, won the overall largest fish category with a 3-pound, 13-ounce carp.

With the city's help, Hendershot said the event was able to offer a number of activities, including pony rides, hayrides, clowns and balloons.

He said the event was a nice way for families to spend time together.

"That's something we need more of in our society," Hendershot said. "This is truly an old-fashioned day in the park. We're stepping back in time, and fishing is just part of it."

Sherrie Walch of Hagerstown said she and her family didn't have much luck fishing in the pond, but that her children caught some fish with a net from a nearby creek.

"We did better last year," she said.

Walch said her family had a good time at last year's event, so they decided to come back this year.

"I think it's a pretty good event for the kids and for the grown-ups, too," said Sherrie's husband, Al Walch. "I'm having fun."

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