Youngsters pull out 'eating size' fish during Church Hill Trout Rodeo

Jeff Bobo • Sep 7, 2019 at 3:30 PM

CHURCH HILL — Youngsters spent Saturday morning fishing for prizes, trophies and mostly for fun during the annual Church Hill Trout Rodeo in Alexander Creek at Jaycees Park.

Every year the city builds a series of dams in the creek to trap the approximately 500 “eating size” trout that are dumped in courtesy of Buffalo Springs Hatchery.

Saturday morning boys and girls ages 4-16 competed in three age groups for first to catch a fish, first to catch the limit of three and biggest fish. 

To no one’s surprise, previous event champion Cole Evans won the first fish, and first to catch his limit in his age group (boys 12-16), and he was also the early leader with the biggest fish at 15 ounces.

Evans caught his limit in about the first 20 minutes, and spent the rest of the event trying to top his big fish, but the biggest fish award went to Hunter Ogden at 1 pounds, 3 ounces. 

Other trophies were awarded to Olivia Knapp (first fish girls ages 4-7), Eric Qualls (first fish boys 4-7), Addyson Lovell (first fish girls 8-11), Zach Voiles (first fish boys 8-11), Annie Bellamy (first fish girls 12-16), and Braylee Evans (first to limit girls 8-11).

There were also drawings for bicycles and other prizes including fishing tackle which were donated by the Church Hill VFW Post 9754. Other event sponsors included Food City and CASVA Angus Farms.

The smaller children were assisted by their parents and/or grandparents, including Mayor Dennis Deal who was trying to help his granddaughter catch a big one.

“These kids really enjoy it, and our employees do a really good job getting this thing ready for all the kids,” Deal said. “...They put them (the trout) in yesterday evening about 3 p.m., and then when the fishing tournament is over the grownups can come in if they’ve got a fishing license, and they can fish. We keep it dammed up for a couple of days, and then next week we’ll un-dam it.”

Deal said the creek is well stocked with good eating size fish. 

“There’s some one-pounders in there, very easily,” Deal said.