Dozens of families arrived at Orde Pond bright-eyed and early Saturday morning for the Land and Wildlife Resources Section’s annual Youth Fishing Day.
More than 50 young anglers registered for the Youth Fishing Day, which was hosted by the John A. Lejeune Rod and Gun Club, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
“We had a good turnout, and it’s great to see the families having fun,” said James G. Smith Jr., vice president of the Rod and Gun Club.
Shortly after sunrise, families flocked to the pond and baited their lines. They set up chairs, opened their tackle boxes and readied buckets to put fish in after they caught them. Some young anglers held fishing poles as tall as they were, while others opted for smaller, easy-to-hold poles. Either way, everybody was hoping their biggest catch would go down in the history books.
“I saw the event on the (Marine Corps Community Services) website,” said Jennifer Azok, a parent who attended the event with her family. “I think it’s great the base is doing this. (The kids) were stringing all the poles last night getting ready for the event today.”
Once their poles were strung and the time to fish had finally arrived, the real challenge arose. While some tried their best to hook a fish, they found it difficult to stay attentive while they waited to feel a tug on their line. Others watched their bobbers with rapt attention, waiting for a bite. It wasn’t an easy task, but their patience was rewarded when their bobber disappeared under the water and everybody started to cheer them on as they were locked in an epic battle between man and fish.
“My favorite part about fishing is catching and reeling them in,” said Gavin Yarber, a military child and event participant. “I love the excitement of having a big fish on my hook.”
The Land and Wildlife Resources Section stocked the pond with more than 400 fish prior to the event. Members of the Rod and Gun Club attended the event to provide assistance to families and help parents teach their children fishing techniques. Atlantic Marine Corps Communities also provided cold beverages for participants in order to keep the heat of the day from becoming unbearable.
“The fishing day gives the parents and kids an opportunity to do something outdoors,” said Smith. “Parents are usually busy. This event gives the families a chance to do something together.”
For more information on future youth fishing events, visit www.mccslejeune.com. For more information on the John A. Lejeune Rod and Gun Club, call 382-2750.