MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The morning sun beamed through the trees onto Orde Pond as families gathered around all sides. They placed their chairs on the grass and prepped their fishing poles as the day began to warm up. Within the hour, bobbers and bait broke the calm surface of the water.
Service members and their families arrived for the Fun Family Fishing event, hosted by Marine Corps Community Services’ Outdoor Adventures at the pond aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, March 10.
More than 200 patrons registered for the fishing day, which was open to authorized identification cardholders. Participants ages 16 and older were required to have a fishing license.
The pond was stocked with approximately 400 pounds of striped bass and rainbow trout that came from a local fish farm. The fish were safe to eat and patrons were able to keep what they caught.
Families munched on snacks and beverages while they waited for the fish to grow an appetite of their own.
“This is good stuff,” said Petty Officer 1st Class James Beabes, a personnel specialist with Company F, Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division. “It’s great that they stocked the pond and closed it off so the kids could have the first shot at the fish. It’s a great way to keep them busy.”
Although many children were participating, the usual frenzy of childhood seemed momentarily calmed by the tranquil scene. However, a fish on the hook was all it took to awaken the excitement hidden within.
“I really enjoy the quiet time and just being outdoors,” said Cpl. Joshua Bachand, a rifleman with 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. “And it’s a fun time when you know you got a big one on the line. I’ve caught a 45-pound shovelnose catfish and it’s a moment I can’t forget.”
Outdoor Adventures hosts fishing events annually so the families have a chance to experience memorable moments of their own.
“This is the first (fishing event) that we’ve done this early in the year,” said Marybeth Lemaire, a recreational specialist with Outdoor Adventures, who helped organize the event. “It’s a great way to give to the people on the base. It also helps us advertise the fishing that’s available, because people aren’t really aware.”
The warm breeze, sight of greening leaves, smell of blooming flowers and return of migratory birds are only some of the signs that point to a good day to be outside. This is also the time when Outdoor Adventures takes advantage of the season and begins hosting their recreational activities.
“I think that it’s awesome that (MCCS) organized events like this,” said Sgt. Daniel Pluth, a rifleman with 1st Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. “It gets people outside their houses, and it brings families out together. MCCS holds all kinds of events for (patrons). It really shows that they care about the (service members) and the families.”
The next fishing event is the “Gone Fishing Derby,” scheduled for April. Outdoor Adventures Office hours are Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information on the fishing event or other recreational activities, call 451-1440 or visit www.mccslejeune.com.