The fish were biting at Dickert Pond inside Camp Jordan Park, Saturday morning, as the East Ridge Optimist Club put on its 7th Annual Fishing Rodeo.
“So far I’ve caught four,” said young Adalyn McClendon, who was brought to the event by her grandfather, Phil Wooten. “The biggest one has been two pounds.”
The event is one of the most popular sponsored by the Optimists. John Tilley, the President of the club, said about 55 kids had registered as of 10 a.m. He was sure more would show up for the final two hours of the tournament.
You didn’t have to catch a fish to win a prize. Optimist members Curtis Baker and Jim Bethune bellowed out the name of a lucky angler every 15 minutes, as door prizes from Bass Pro Shops were being picked from those registered.
Officers from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency were standing by weighing fish – mostly catfish – that participants were pulling from the pond. Hundreds of pounds of catfish were stocked in the pond on Friday evening, officials said.
Harry Mackey, the Optimist Club’s world renowned chef, manned the grill preparing hotdogs for the kids and adults. The task was a breeze for the man who carefully caters numerous events for the club each and every year.
“This is the most fun event we put on,” said Tilley. “I just love it.”
Later in the day prizes were awarded for the biggest fish and the smallest, as well as total number of fish caught.
East Ridge News Online will attempt to update this story with those results.