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Martin pond ready for young anglers

Martin pond ready for young anglers

Posted: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 12:00 pm

By RANDY CAVIN
Press Sports
Mark your calendar for Saturday as it is time once again to get the kids ready for some fishing.
The annual fishing derby sponsored by the Martin Parks and Recreation department, Martin Kiwanis Club and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will be held at the Martin Recreation Complex lake.
The fishing derby is free to children ages 14 and under with prizes furnished by the TWRA and trophies handed out by the Martin Kiwanis Club. Prizes and trophies will awarded for the most fish, longest fish, heaviest fish, ugliest fish, shortest fish and the best dressed fisherperson.
The fishing should be good with the temperature forecasted to be in the low 80s and partly cloudy skies. To improve the chances for the kids to catch some fish, the TWRA stocked plenty of channel catfish in the lake on May 29, in preparation for the fishing derby.
“The TWRA came out with a truck and put 800 pounds of catfish in the lake,” Brad Rickman of the Parks and Recreation department said. “The fish were 11⁄2 pounds each, so the TWRA put about 500 fish in the lake.”
The 6.5 acre lake is usually stocked with catfish every year prior to the fishing derby and closed for 1-to-2 weeks up to the derby so there will plenty of catfish for the kids to catch. The lake will not be closed this year as Kim Kirby, the Parks and Recreation program director, said it has not made much of a difference in past years.
“We usually close so the stocked fish will not be fished out,” Kirby said. “We have noticed it has not made much of a difference to close it. There were 90 kids fishing in the derby last year and only 45 fish were caught and none of them were catfish.”
In 2011 there were 108 kids in the derby with 31 fish caught and 97 kids fished in the 2010 derby with 140 fish caught.
Pickwick Lake catfish guide and professional catfish tournament fisherman Phil King says on his website that catfish are opportunistic eaters and will feed on almost anything. He suggests old standbys such as chicken livers and nightcrawlers.
The whiskered fish will also bite crickets, hotdogs, cheese and commercial baits such a dip baits and dough baits that have a rather pungent odor to them. Cut baits and shrimp can also produce some of the big whiskered fish.
Of course catfish is not the only fish in the lake. There are bluegill, shellcrackers and largemouth bass.
Registration begins at 8 a.m., and all ages 14 and under can begin fishing at that time. Registration closes at 9 a.m. with kids five and under checking in a 10:10 a.m. Children ages 6-8 will check in their catch at 10:45 a.m., while kids 9-11 will have to check in at 11:15. Fishing ends with children ages 12-14 checking in their catch at 11:45 a.m.
The only things the kids will need to bring are a rod and reel, bait, bucket or stringer, lawn chair and something to drink. The fishing derby will held the following Saturday, June 15, in case it does rain.

Published in The WCP 6.4.13

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