ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. (June 9, 2012) — Excitement filled the air as more than 100 youngsters, ages 15 and below, waited eagerly with fishing rods in hand for the announcement to begin fishing at the annual Cheatham Lake Fish Bustin’ Rodeo today.
“It’s all about the kids,” said Larry Nash, Cheatham Lake resource manager. “It’s quality time spent outdoors fishing with parents or adult friends, seeing their faces when their rods bend almost double trying to land a stubbornly fighting catfish, makes all the work preparing for the event more than worthwhile.”
Nash said every youngster participating won thanks to the generous support of area businesses, individuals and volunteers. American Bass Anglers, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District, Young Sportsman's Foundation, and Tommy and Phyllis Pardue sponsored the event. Free hotdogs, chips and drinks were provided by Cheatham Lake employees and volunteers.
Steve Cochran, director of American Bass Anglers District 32, served as weigh-in judge and narrator. He said they organized the rodeo similar to a regular fishing tournament.
“We have a five-fish limit, with the option to cull, and the fish must be alive at weigh-in to qualify,” Cochran said. “This will familiarize the young anglers with tournament rules that some will encounter later.”
Prizes were awarded in three age groups for first, second and third places in total weight, and to individuals who caught the largest and smallest fish:
Age 0-5: 1st - Gabriel Lassek, 4 - 6.60 pounds
2nd - Caitlin Newland, 4 - 4.06 pounds
3rd - Lexi Nicholson, 4 - 1.30 pounds
Age 6-10: 1st - Mackailyn Hornsby, 6 - 11.95 pounds
2nd - Landon Cogbill, 10 - 7.75 pounds
3rd - James Newland, 9 - 5.40 pounds
Age 11-15: 1st – Daniel Chaffin, 11 - 12.20 pounds
2nd – Patricia Worthington - 12, 9.25 pounds
3rd – Peyton Worthington, 11 - 6.55 pounds
Largest fish: Patricia Worthington, 12 - 4.95 pound catfish
Smallest fish: Nathan Blades, 10 - 0.00 pound bream (sic)
Trevor Honeycutt, 12, and Evan Sproat, 9, each won a bicycle when their names were drawn, and every child who registered received a fishing rod, shirt or gift certificate if they came to the weigh-in area when their names were called throughout the event.
When asked why he had devoted so much time and resources to these events the past two decades, Cochran said, “Seeing families out fishing with their kids is rewarding and you just can’t beat the looks on kids’ faces when they catch a fish or receive a prize.”
The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.