Fishing Rodeo reels in young anglers


WILLIAMSPORT - Shelby Krocker felt something weighty at the end of her line and reeled expectantly. Out of the water rose a sopping, slimy knot of weeds.

"I caught seaweed," she said.

Shelby patiently discarded the slime and cast again, optimistically awaiting her big catch.

Shelby, 8, of Halfway, went fishing with her sister, Brooke Krocker, 14, and their grandmother, Penny Mongan, on Saturday at the Fishing Fun Rodeo at Cushwa Basin in Williamsport.

"The girls love to fish," said Penny Mongan, of Halfway. "I thought there would be a lot of people here to help Granny because Granny knows nothing about it."

Mongan said a family fishing next to the three did help her granddaughters with their fishing and it "made their day."


Event coordinator Leslie Brodhead, park ranger at Cushwa Basin, said 110 children up to age 15 participated in the 11th annual event.

"We want kids to have a positive experience on the canal with their families - moms, dads, grandparents - and fishing is a big part of that," Brodhead said. "Sometimes you catch fish, sometimes not."

For anglers Sarah Rice, 10, and Jesse Rice, 6, of Boonsboro, Saturday was "sometimes not."

Sheila and Timothy Rice joked that their children were just "feeding the fish." Jesse said he got a couple of bites, but was unable to land a fish. Sarah had a similar fate.

"That fish took my worm three times. It took it and ran! This is my last bit of a worm that was 4 inches long," Sarah Rice said, indicating a splinter of worm that dangled piteously from her hook.

Colby Byers, 9, of Williamsport, found a nice spot in the shade to fish with his brother Tyler Byers, 12, and four of their buddies.

"It's fun being with your friends and trying to catch a big fish," Colby Byers said.

Brandon Greene, 12, of Williamsport, pulled in a 45/8-inch bluegill.

Robert and Shelly Franklin of Williamsport took their sons Nicholas, 8, and Samuel, 3, to the rodeo. Nicholas caught three fish and won two prizes in the 8- to 11-year old category. He got first place for catching the smallest fish and third place for catching the most fish.

"I had fun," Nicholas said.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources stocked the canal for the rodeo. Several area clubs and businesses volunteered services and provided sponsorship. All anglers received certificates of participation and free hot dogs, and some won door prizes. Award winners received fishing rods, nets and tackle boxes.

"We are really happy with the turnout and pleased with the support of local sponsors," Brodhead said. "We hope (the rodeo) continues to be successful well into the future."

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