Nederland hooked on fishing Saturday

Published 11:22 am Saturday, February 20, 2016

NEDERLAND — Fish were biting at Doornbos Park Saturday, where children and their families lined the circumference of the duck pond, hoping to land a big one, and in the process, a prize for their efforts.

More than 125 people came out to Nederland’s public park to participate in the 15th Annual “Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs” event Saturday.

The Nederland Rotary Club sponsors the event each year.

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“This is a record year for attendance,” Chip Volz, Nederland Rotary Club member, said.

Not only were more families participating, the amount of prize donations did too, but it was mostly the weather that brought people out to enjoy a family-filled morning in the outdoors.

“This is a different kind of fun than a lot of the kids have on a daily basis,” Volz said. “It is a family day.”

As the day progressed, members of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department were on hand to teach children the dangers of drug abuse and to promote a healthy lifestyle.

But, mostly, the children were there for the fish.

“I like everything about fishing, even getting slimy,” Leo Hammock, 6, of Nederland, said, while noting he’d already caught three fish and the morning was not even half way over.

His father, Brandon Hammock, 32, of Nederland, said his son loved to fish at every opportunity.

“We go as much as we can, but not as much as we should,” Brandon Hammock said.

In addition to his father, Leo came with his grandparents, Debbie and Bill Gates, of Orangefield.

“This is a good, clean activity, just a lot of fun,” Bill Gates said.

“It doesn’t’ matter what activity it is, just as long as it’s family,” Debbie Gates said while noting the couple’s 10th grandchild was due any day.

Though he’d fished before, Chris Durham, 10, of Nederland, caught his first fish Saturday at the Rotary event with a little help from his father, Mark Durham.

“It was the second fish caught today, so I got a $25 Academy card,” he said. “It’s been pretty cool, so I hope we can go so more.

Saturday’s outdoor activity was just the kind of thing Brandie Biffle, 36, of Nederland, was looking for to do with her 7-year-old daughter, Story Kay Hobden.

“This is our first time to come. I am trying to do more stuff with her. She kept saying she wanted to go fishing. She’s been getting a few bites, and is learning patience.”

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department each year stocks the pond with more than 500 rainbow trout for the event.

“The kids will catch about 200 today, so there will be plenty of fish for the next couple of weeks for anyone who wants to come out and do some more fishing,” Volz said.


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