Saturday June 10, 2017, Hickman County wildlife officers Evan Gaskin and Brenden Marlow held the annual Hickman county kids fishing day at Bill McDonald’s farm pond in Centerville, TN.  The event was made available to youth 16 years of age and under. There were a total of 23 kids registered on the morning of the event along with 24 adults to assist with them fishing. The event started at 8AM with a cooked breakfast provided. A lot of memories were made on this day as some kids actually caught there first fish. As the event came to an end each kid was awarded a fishing rod and reel of choice, 88 pieces tackle box, and a 2017 Hickman County kids fishing day decal. We would like to thank TWRA, TWOA, Bill McDonald, Sun Drop, along with a host of volunteers for making this day a memory that will last forever.

Did you take advantage of Free Fishing Day this year? Some 76 kids ranging from 2-15 years old sure did by participating in the 5th Annual Benton Co. Kids Fishing Rodeo located at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park in Eva, TN on Saturday, June 10, 2017. At 8am kids were pulling their moms, dads, grandparents, etc. from their vehicles and running up to the registration table eager to pick out their honey hole to catch a stringer full of fish! Once the clock struck 9am, the announcement was made to start fishing and/or keeping fish. It did not take long to see the bobbers bouncing, poles bending, and hearing the cheerful hollers from the kids, “I got one”. With the fish and weather cooperating this year, the 2 hours allotted for fishing quickly swam away from everyone and it was time for the weigh-in before everyone knew it. At weigh-in, the number of fish caught and the weight of the catch was recorded for each participant. Prizes were awarded for most fish caught and most weight in each age group. The winners in the 0-7 age group were: (Girls) Ashlyn Rhodes & Mari Beth Murphy (Boys) Weston Palmer & Tekoa Easley. Winners in the 8-12 age group were: (Girls) Laney Rhodes & Ashley Pearl (Boys) Mason Baker & Hayden Jennette. Winners in the 13-15 age group were: (Girls) Kelsey Bailey & Laura Pearl (Boys) Logan Carter & Matthew Baker. Special prizes were awarded to Laura Pearl, Matthew Baker, Mason Baker, and Hayden McCormick for each catching a coveted “white” catfish that was stocked into the area. A total of 129 fish were caught that tipped the scales at little over 120 lbs. After prizes were divvied out, all kids and family members were treated to a smoked chicken lunch.

Due to the growing success of the Benton Co. Fishing Rodeo, next year’s event is already in the works. Everyone lockdown June 9, 2018 for another great family fishing experience at the Benton Co Kids Fishing Rodeo at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park!! A special thanks goes out to all the sponsors because without the sponsors, this event could not take place. This year’s sponsors were Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park, Tennessee Wildlife Officers Association, NBFSP Friends Group, Tyson, Sundrop, Belisle Tool & Machine, AllGoods, Save-A-Lot, Open Season Sporting Goods, Mid-Way Materials, Wal-Mart, Ray Smith Chevrolet, Shooters Sporting Goods, Law Offices of Terry and Jack Leonard, Dilday-Carter Funeral Home, Joey Dale Pierce and Steve Davis.