If you’re going
Free Kids’ Fishing Event will be from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Lower Pool Park, off Buford Dam Road. From Cumming, travel past West Bank Park and then turn right into Lower Pool Park (before traveling over the dam).
Children will have a chance to learn about fishing during an event on Lake Lanier.
The Georgia Wildlife Division is working with several Forsyth County civic clubs to offer the annual Kids’ Free Fishing Event from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the Lower Pool Park by Buford Dam.
The event is open to all kids age 15 and younger, but they must be accompanied by an adult.
Wes Dorsey, president of the Cumming Kiwanis Club and the Sawnee Mountain Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, two of the groups participating in the event, said it’s always fun to watch children who have never fished before.
“The [Buford Trout Hatchery] comes over and they stock the lower pool,” Dorsey said. “… They’re pouring thousands of fish into the water, so there are plenty of them and they’re hungry.”
“The kids who have never fished before in their lives, for them to put a pole in and have a trout grab it and pull on it, it’s just amazing to watch. It’s a hoot. It’s probably more fun for the adults than the kids.”
Dorsey, who’s been involved with the event since it began “about 20 years ago” as a joint project between local Kiwanis and Optimist clubs, said it can easily draw more than 300 children.
“I’ve seen 300 on a bad weekend and more on a good weekend,” he said. “We’re supposed to have gorgeous weather, so we’re hoping for a big one this Saturday.”
Dorsey said the civic clubs provide some “loaner” fishing poles, but ask that children who have their own bring them.
“We try to get people to bring their own just so we don’t run out,” he said.
The Rainbow Ranch, a rainbow trout farm in south Forsyth, provides free bait for the young anglers, and there are free hot dogs, drinks and other snacks.
“Last year, I think we served over 600 hot dogs,” Dorsey said. “It should be in that same range, it may be more this year. You just never know how many are going to show up.”
Volunteers will be there to help children bait their hooks and remove the fish. There will also be fishing and fly tying demonstrations.
Dorsey said besides fishing, children can also enjoy other activities.
He said the National Wild Turkey Federation will have its JAKES — Juniors Achieving Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship — BB gun range on site to help children learn about shooting.
“We usually have a lady that does recused bird of prey … and usually some snake exhibits, so there are some other things for kids to look at,” he said. “Of course, all of this is in honor of National Hunting and Fishing Day.”
Dorsey said he hopes many children and their families will come out to learn something new.
“That’s been the big stigma for kids nowadays, they spend too much time indoors,” he said. “So hopefully we can get them out there and get them involved in something they’ve never done before.”