By BRIAN SMITH
“Is there anything better than spending time with your kids and teaching them the joys of fishing?” James Shaker, a lifetime Weatherford resident, asked Saturday. “I don’t think so.”
Shaker and his two grandsons, Max and Tommy, were part of an estimated 200 people on the shores of Holland Lake Saturday for the annual KidFish Tournament, sponsored by the KidFish Foundation and Weatherford Parks and Recreation Department. Shaker said this was his first time at the event and was glad to take his grandsons fishing.
“I didn’t have any sons, so I’m glad to teach these two how it’s done,” Shaker said. “Even if we don’t catch a thing, it’s still great to hang out with these two.”
Max, 11, felt the same way.
“It’s just us guys today,” he said. “The way it should be.”
Kids of all ages took their rods and reels, some of which were bought just for the event, and tried to hook some of the 500 pounds of channel catfish that were placed in the lake Friday evening. Kids were placed into three age groups with the top fishermen in each group qualifying for the State KidFish Tournament in Corpus Christi later this Spring.
Each fish caught was measured for the competition and then released back into the lake. Garrett Thomas, 9, caught the first fish of the day, a 7-inch channel cat. Knowing that wouldn’t be large enough to win his 7-to-11 age group, he decided to go back and continue fishing.
Toby and Josh Turner, of Weatherford, arrived early to get a good spot. The pair took part in last year’s event, with Josh, now 12, winning a fishing pole for his efforts. When asked what was the secret to catching a fish, Toby simply said “luck.”
Even with a busy Saturday, many parents found time to take their kids fishing. Laura Green took her son, Colton, 3, to the lake before his Blastball game. Bill McPherson took the day off from his job to go fish with his family.
“I’ll pick up the hours down the road, but it’s just too nice of a day not to do some fishing,” he said.