|NWTF Catfishing Event|
On May 16, 2014 I was invited to participate in a catfish round-up for the special needs children in schools from Union, Chester and Spartanburg counties in South Carolina. The event was sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service and Piedmont Chapter of NWTF. (Go to NWTF.org and learn how to put one of these events on in your area.)
The Union High School fishing team participated in this event by baiting hooks, casting rods and removing fish. There were also a number of volunteers from the SCDNR, The U.S. Forest Service and various churches around the county. Each volunteer pretty much had a one-on-one visit all morning with one of these students.
Man, did they catch fish. The fish were stocked in the pond by the city of Union for a JAKES/Public Safety Day, which would take place on May 17. Therefore, these participants found a pond full of hungry fish and would release them as soon as they were caught.
I have never seen so many rods get tangled or broken in my life. A tent was set for rod repair, and man, was it utilized. This was the third year for this event, and some of the school teachers said on the first day of school these children asked what day the fishing field trip would be on.
All morning long, I watched some of the best smiles I have ever seen in my life. This may be the only day this whole year some of these kids get a chance to fish. All the volunteers told me they got more out of fishing with these kids than the kids did. I truly am here to say that’s the truth. I enjoyed helping these kids fish more than catching fish myself. Please, if you ever get a chance to attend one of these events, do not hesitate: It will be a day you will never forget.
by Steve Cobb