County#039;s honor students enjoy annual Rotary Club#039;s Fishing Rodeo

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 3, 2007

After a severe weather threat postponed things for a day, the annual Lawson Richards Fishing Rodeo sponsored by the Luverne Rotary Club went on as planned with 61 sixth-grade honor roll students from Luverne School, Brantley School, Highland Home School and Crenshaw Christian Academy trying to get &#8220the catch of the day” at the Crenshaw County Lake.

Chris Johnson, Luverne Rotary Club Committee member, said that the project started about 15 years ago. Hicks, Inc., donates the fishing rods and reels, catfish bait, fishing lines and hats each year, while Pepsi of Luverne furnishes the students with soft drinks. McDonald's provides lunch, and The Ranch House Bar-B-Q supplies plates and cups.

The students are allowed to take home their new hats, the catfish bait, the fishing string and all the catfish they can reel in.

Art Wise, John Wise, Jr., John Dicks and Johnson comprise the Fishing Rodeo Committee for the Luverne Rotary Club.

&#8220This year, we put in about 600 pounds of catfish,” Johnson said. &#8220They will catch way over 100 fish, I bet. They've caught a lot today already.”

&#8220We are so proud to sponsor our honor students and to have this opportunity to show them how proud we are of their accomplishments,” Luverne Rotary Club President-elect Dr. Pat Floyd said.

The Luverne Rotary Club also sponsors Family Fishing Day, which was held last Saturday morning. Floyd said that it was an event meant to encourage families to share quality recreational time with each other.

Caleb Davis, a sixth grader at Highland Home School, was proud of the ten catfish he had caught so far, even though he wound up catching more than that before the day was over.

Little Brenda Givens, who is also a sixth grader at HHS, had reeled in 11 fish, but one got away.

&#8220They are too heavy for me to pick up,” she said as she struggled with the heavy line of fish that proved to be about the same size as she is.

&#8220This is a great experience for them,” Johnson said. &#8220I saw two girls who didn't look like they really wanted to fish at first, but as soon as they started catching some fish, they really started having a good time. It's just as much fun for us as it is for them.”