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Got a line on you, babe

Old and new anglers alike plunge into Fishin' Frenzy

Old and new anglers alike plunge into Fishin' Frenzy

June 18, 2006|by ALICIA NOTARIANNI

If you were a fish who liked life, you probably would not want to see the Bishop sisters approaching. At least not with their fishing poles in tote.

Ten rainbow trout surrendered to the hooks of Shannon and Megan Bishop, 11 and 9, of Clear Spring, at Saturday's MIHI Fishin' Frenzy at Pangborn Park. The young anglers each claimed five fish, the limit for the event.

Without the least bit of squeamishness, Shannon Bishop clutched her fifth fish in her fist and strode to the measuring booth as she explained her method.

"My dad helped me use a lure for this one," Shannon said. "For the rest, I used salmon eggs and worms, but when things started slowing down and I wasn't catching as many, I thought I better try something else."

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Jim Kline, a member of Antietam Bassmasters who volunteered at the event, praised the girls.

"You limited!" Kline said. "Is your name Bishop? I thought you said 'Fishop'!"

Not all of the participants were confident anglers. Jeff and Jean Cooper of Funkstown took three of their children, Laura, 13, Kevin, 10, and Sean, 7, to the event. Jean said none of them really knows anything about fishing and that her husband doesn't like to touch the worms.

"I don't mind the worms so much. I don't like the fish," Jeff Cooper said in his defense.

Chris Marquez and his daughter, Marisa, 10, and twin sons, Christopher and Nicolas, 7, of Smithsburg went fishing for the first time ever at the event. Chris Marquez said he took his children out and bought new poles, all the same so there would be no complaining. Their fishing got off to a shaky start.

"I kept sticking my finger and I wasn't properly casting. We kept getting tangled up. Then, I finally got the hang of it," Chris Marquez said. "We've actually been learning from other people here. We're having a great time."

There were plenty of veteran fishermen among the crowd from whom novices could pick up pointers. Among them were longtime fishing buddies Red Slusher, 78, of Hagerstown, and his friend, Jed Shuman, 96, of Funkstown, who Slusher endearingly referred as "that youngster."

"We came because the fish are here. We didn't break no records," said Slusher, who caught two fish, while Shuman landed one.

"This is swell," Shuman said of the Fishin' Frenzy.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources stocked the lake with 650 fish for the event. More than 260 people - children 12 and younger, seniors 65 and older, and people with disabilities - registered to fish. Linn Hendershot, chairman of the fourth annual event, said more than 1,000 people attended.

In addition to fishing, MIHI, an organization the promotes accessible community recreation, organized hayrides, pony rides, barrel rides, clowns and concessions. Red Shingleton and the Fairview Mountain Ramblers provided bluegrass musical entertainment throughout the day, and young hip-hop/rap artist Spencer Morgan made an impromptu appearance.




Fishin' Frenzy facts



The following were award winners from Saturday's MIHI Fishin' Frenzy at Pangborn Park.

Biggest fish - John Weir, 10, Hagerstown

Biggest trout - Tyler Shubert, 10, Hagerstown

Five trout with highest total weight - Dennis Smith, 12, Hagerstown

Smallest fish - Savannah Shepherd, 8, Hagerstown

Oldest fisherman - Jed Shuman, 96, Funkstown

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