Almost 300 youth anglers attended the free, family-friendly Get Out and Fish event at the newly renovated fishing pond at Sidney Hutchinson Park in Walker on Saturday, November 3.
Officials say 280 youth anglers signed up for the free, family-friendly Get Out and Fish event on Saturday, November 3.
Over 400 people total attended the event at the newly renovated fishing pond at Sidney Hutchinson Park in Walker, LA.
Get Out And Fish Program Is Growing
No Boat? No Experience? No Problem!
That’s the motto of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Get Out and Fish program.
Sidney Hutchinson Park was the 12th public park to host a Get Out and Fish event.
LDWF stocked the park’s fishing pond with over 600 pounds of channel catfish before the event.
In the colder months, LDWF stocks some ponds throughout with Rainbow Trout.
Stocked Ponds Can Get Kids Hooked On Fishing
Pond stockings, like these, are a great way for first-time anglers to catch their first fish and get hooked to the sport of fishing and the outdoors for life.
Volunteers were on hand to help inexperienced anglers learn how to set up their fishing poles, bait the hooks, and cast.
The only thing families wanting to fish had to do was show up. Maybe Get Out and Fish should add “No Excuse” to its motto.
The program’s first event was in 2014 at Girard Park in Lafayette.
Families Having Fun
Over 280 youth anglers signed up for Saturday’s event at Sidney Hutchinson Park in Walker.
Macmenamin says the Get Out and Fish program is a great way for families to spend quality time.
“I always see a lot of grandfathers out here, mothers out here, grandmothers out here, and everybody getting together to fish with their kids,” Macmenamin told WAFB.
One of the biggest catches of the day belonged to Bayli Hollier, 15, is a student at Denham Springs High School. Her fish weighed in at nine pounds and four ounces.
“I thought, the line’s gonna break when I’m reeling it in,” Hollier said. “I was like, it’s gonna break. I just know. But it didn’t and it was huge,” Bayli said.
Bayli’s mother Laura says the family goes fishing often on their own, but they’ve come to enjoy public events like this because it promotes the sport.
“It’s teaching them to love nature and really enjoy being with their family, and doing something,” Laura Hollier said.
Walker High Fishing Team Mentors Young Anglers
LDWF officials want to expand the program even more, and volunteers are stepping up to help.
The Walker High School Fishing team came out to teach the younger anglers.
“Just simple things out here today, just baiting a hook, and how to cast, and how to fish,” said Mason Ferachi, 18, who is a senior member of the team. “You know what to do what to look for, stuff like that.”
Ferachi makes a great mentor. He recently qualified as a co-angler on the Louisiana Bass Nation Team, which is made up of professional anglers.
Ferachi and three other members of the Walker High School competed in the Bassmaster High School Series National Championship in Paris, Tennessee back in August.
Walker Get Out And Fish Winners
Little Angler (ages 8 and under)
1st – Jaxon Hines
2nd – Ried Leonard
3rd – Braxton Flynn
Junior Angler (ages 9-15)
1st – Bayli Hollier
2nd – Raelynn Farris
3rd – Donnie Welsh
Other species winners were:
1st – Piper Kinchen
2nd – Dallas LeBeau
3rd – Adaiaj Guzman
1st – Jeanette Miller
2nd – Ryan Tietze
3rd – Riley Poissot