“Our lake opened in 1985 and we’ve had youth and senior fishing days just about every year since,” said Cartersville Parks and Recreation Director Greg Anderson. “This is in conjunction with National Fishing Week the first week of June, and usually that first Saturday, you can fish anywhere in the state for free.
“DNR has allowed us to offer our programs on the days we choose at our park and you do not need a license that day. Of course a youth 14 and under won’t need a license anyway, but seniors on Friday also do not need a license.”
Youth Fishing Day at Dellinger Park, open to anyone 14 and younger, has drawn as many as 375 guests with organizers expecting around 300 this year and a slightly smaller crowd Friday for the senior fishing event. Lasting from 7 a.m. to noon each day, park and recreation officials will prepare hotdogs and drinks for visitors after they fish.
“It’s been a very popular special event and you can see by the attendance that people love it,” Anderson said. “This is to promote fishing within our youth. A lot of times this is the first time somebody may be able to fish and as they say, ‘Someone could get hooked on fishing,’ because there are a lot of fish out here and a lot of fish are caught out here.
“Fishing is a lifetime activity and it’s something people are able to do the rest of their life. It’s something they can always enjoy. I can speak for myself and some of my fondest memories are fishing with my dad and grandad, and that’s one of the reasons I keep going back today.”
National Fishing and Boating Week began in 1979 as National Fishing Week to promote recreational fishing.
“Outdoor recreation strengthens the family as a unit and children as individuals,” stated DNR Wildlife Resources Division Chief of Fisheries Management John Biagi in a press release. “National Fishing and Boating Week is an opportunity to remind all outdoor enthusiasts to teach their children and others the importance of natural resource conservation while introducing them to an exciting activity that could last a lifetime.”
Today and Saturday, June 8, have been set aside by DNR as an opportunity for anyone in Georgia to fish public waters without a license.
DNR also helps Cartersville Parks and Recreation with making their public fishing events possible by stocking the Dellinger Park pond with catfish every fall. Anderson encourages youth and senior citizens to come out and catch a big one with some past hauls weighing in at up to 12 pounds.
Youth Fishing Day is created for children ages 14 and younger. Parents or guardians of very young participants are allowed to assist, but cannot be the primary angler. Similarly, the senior fishing day is reserved for fishing by senior citizens.
Anderson urges everyone participating to apply sunscreen and bug repellant.
For more information, call 770-387-5626.