HARRISON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Hundreds of young anglers spent the day fishing with law enforcement as the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office hosted its second annual Youth Fishing Rodeo.
The smile on Cadiance Dickerson’s face was just as big as the catfish she had reeled in. The 12-year-old was filled with pride as she showed it off.
“It was a rush. I wasn’t expecting it. It came out of nowhere, and it was a hard tug, but I got it in there," she said.
Dickerson was one of more than 200 kids who came out to County Farm for Saturday's Youth Fishing Rodeo.
The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office invited the young anglers out to enjoy the outdoors.
“Just to bring out camaraderie. Just to bring out that they can use this facility to catch fish, to get away from their computers, their laptops and their iPhones, and to get outdoors and enjoy it a little bit," said Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson.
With the pond filled with catfish, all of these kids had their fingers crossed they’d reel in the winning catch or at least a good dinner.
“Yeah, to catch a big fish so you can have some food," said Kyle Bell.
Ten-year-old Frank Ladner’s fish didn’t tip the scales in his favor, but for him, the real prize was the entire experience.
“I love spending time with my dad, stepdad, because we never get to go anywhere because he has work, and he always has football games. So I’m pretty excited that we get to go fishing with each other," he said.
Not everyone got a bite right away.
“Well, I woke up at 7 o’clock in the morning and then I came here, and I tried to catch a fish but it’s not really working out," said Aaron Prestwood.
“Fishes been eating my bait off my thing, off my rail,” said Antwone Pleasant.
However, it was clear everyone was reeling in a good time.
“I can just spend time with my family fishing. It’s not something I get to do every day," said Shaylee Castillo.
Before things kicked off at this year’s fishing rodeo, people celebrated the dedication of a new fishing pier at County Farm.
The floating pier is fully accessible to give people with disabilities the opportunity to fish.
It was built by local labor union members, the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, and Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.
The pier was dedicated to Harrison County Deputy Earl Wesley Philips, who was killed in the line of duty.