More than a dozen children brought in catfish and bluegill during the Youth Fishing Day at Pee Dee Wildlife Refuge on April 22.
Samiyah Jones, 8, caught the most fish with 20, according to Assistant Refuge Manager Greg Walmsley. Kameron Scott, 5, caught the biggest fish with a 15.5” catfish.
Andrea Webb, 11, caught the tiniest fish, a 4.25” bluegill.
The honorable mentions went to Nicholas Pond, 8, who caught eight fish, with five of them over 12” long. Albert Webb, 11, and Wyatt Bricken and Tyler Walmsley, 13, each caught 10 or more fish.
Kameron and his sister, Millie, 3, were proud that he made the biggest catch.
His mother, Amber, said Kameron had been fishing about 10 times before.
Asked if he’d ever caught such a large fish, or a catfish, before, Kameron said he had not.
“No, I’ve only caught normal fish,” he said.
“We had 15 kids participating, and they caught more than 85 fish in total,” Walmsley said via email. “Just about every participant caught at least one fish!”
Refuge manager J.D. Bricken said that the participation rate was low compared to previous years but that the kids there were catching a lot of fish and seemed to be having fun.
“This is the best number of fish we’ve ever had on a fishing day,” Bricken said. “Everyone’s catching a lot, catfish and bluegill.”
The refuge provided poles for children who didn’t have them, Bricken said.
“Lunch was provided by Friends of the Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge,” Walmsley said. “Every kid got their own tackle box, compliments of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.”
Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.