Timmy Horton's Fishing for Kids

October 2011 News
Timmy Horton's Fishing for Kids has been introducing fishing to special needs and underprivileged kids and some adults since 1997. The attendees are selected by area agencies that have been working with Fishing for Kids from the start. A lot of the kids and special needs adults look forward to this one event all year long, some on a par with Christmas as far as anticipation goes. 

On Saturday, October 8, an overflow response of excited kids and adults arrived at Riverfront Park in Sheffield all waiting to first get a glimpse of their hero, Timmy Horton, and then to load-up in a boat and go fishing on Pickwick Lake- many fishing for the first time in their lives.

Volunteer fishermen lined their boats up to drive by and pick-up their assigned anglers for a few hours of fishing. Life vests were secured to all participants and any required minnows and/or live worms brought on board supplied by Anderson Bait Company. The number of kids was so large this year that many of the boats fished three-to-a-boat and most of the younger children fished from the bank with brand new cane poles, bobbers, minnows and worms. The average attendance for this outing is around 25 participants. Saturday, Horton and his volunteers were faced with 75.

Now Fishing for Kids is not just any fishing tournament. No sir. When you fish in a Fishing for Kids tournament there are only two rules: Rule Number One is to have fun; Rule Number Two is to catch any kind of fish you can of any size. And both rules were adhered to, to the letter. There were beaming faces and fishing poles in evidence from high dollar bass boats, slickly-rigged flat bottom fishing boats and pontoon boats. On this Saturday there were 15 fishing boats and two pontoon boats. Good natured challenges and declarations of I'm gonna win" were sprinkled along the line of fishing rigs waiting to launch.

Upon return from their "tournament outing" the competitors were brought by a stage in their respective boats where they were "interviewed" by guest announcer Garry Mason, coach of the Bethel College Fishing Team and founder of the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame. Some anglers were more willing to show, make that hold, their catch than others. 

The weigh-in featured almost every species in Pickwick Lake. As boat after boat of kids and assisted adults pulled up to show and weigh their catch of the day, another variety of fish seemed to come out of the livewell. There were bluegill, catfish, something that looked like a catfish, drum, spotted bass, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. Regardless of size or species, the contestants were thrilled with their catch. Those not catching anything were just as happy to have had the opportunity to be involved. As all contestants came thru the weigh-in line they received a Slider lure package and a Slider patch compliments of Slider Lures as a bonus.

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