The 2019 Youth Fishing Rodeo was a huge success. Originally scheduled for early Saturday, June 8, the event was moved to Thursday, June 12, from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. The change didn’t hurt the turnout and, in fact, the free event reached capacity with 75 kids and a total of 175 attendees. Geni Payne (4-H) and Jennifer Davidson from the Russell County Extension office helped plan the event with the Phenix City Parks and Recreation Department, designing the event for ages 6-14, as well as for members of the special needs community.
The 1,000 pounds of large catfish came from Auburn University. Some of the fish had prize tags, but only one of those got hooked. Even so, organizers gave away 40 door prizes by drawing tickets. The fun-filled event had several generous sponsors: Randall Marine donated bait, B.W. Capps donated prize packs (fishing gear and apparel), and 13thStreet Barbecue donated 75 BBQ sandwiches. Dads, moms, and grandparents did most of the dirty work like baiting hooks and unhooking the fish. The kids did the casting and reeling, though some kids had no problem baiting their own hooks. Those not fishing, relaxed in camping chairs and spectated.