Reel ‘em in

Published 11:07 pm Saturday, September 5, 2009

AID TOWNSHIP — Twelve-year-old Corey Long was reelin’ ‘em in Saturday — quite literally.

The Pedro youth caught not one but two catfish at the annual Izaak Walton Fishing League Derby and one of his catches was a fine-looking 3 pounds, 10 ounces.

“This is the biggest one I’ve ever caught,” Long said as his catfish was weighed and a photograph taken.

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What precisely was his secret?

“Livers,” he replied. Catfish as it turns out, like chicken livers, at least the ones at the Izaak Walton Lake do.

Tyler Clark, 13, of South Point, caught two fish also but he said there was no real secret to his success. Camy Gaffney, whose husband is on the fishing league board of directors, said Clark may well have owed his fishing success to having “one of the best spots on the lake.”

If the kids were having a great time and reveling in the pleasure of the big one that didn’t get away, well, that was the whole point of the yearly event: to get kids ages 2-18 outside and along a picturesque lakeshore for an afternoon of recreation.

“They have a good time fishing,” fishing league board of directors member Scott Taylor said. “This helps the little fellas get out and catch some fish.”

Kayla Hendrickson, of Ashland, Ky., came with her sister, Nickki, and their grandfather, Bud Aldridge, to cast her hopes and line into the lake.

“We bring them out every year,” Aldridge said. Grandpa enjoys fishing and wants his granddaughters to enjoy it too. It is, after all, one of life’s simpler pleasures than can turn a pleasant early fall afternoon into something really special.

“I’d like to see them catch some bluegill or catfish,” Aldridge said. Hendrickson was not quite as specific. In years previous she had reeled in catches that were not to her liking.

She wanted something with fins and scales this time.

“I’d like to catch some fish,” she said. “And not another turtle.”