Fishing Rodeo lures three dozen young anglers to Lansdowne

More than 30 young anglers landed about 75 fish as they took part in the annual Fishing Rodeo at Hillcrest Park the morning of June 9.

Event organizer Brian Lipscomb, 39, a Halethorpe resident, said the anglers, who ranged in age between 2 and 16, reeled in bluegill, crappy and catfish from the park's 1.5-acre pond that the Lansdowne-Riverview-Baltimore Highlands Recreation Office had stocked with hundreds of fishprior to the event.

"It was hot, but it wasn't bad. It was cooler in the morning," Lipscomb said the day after the event. "We had some nice fish."

The largest catch of the day was a 15-inch largemouth bass that would've been a keeper but bass season doesn't open until June 15, Lipscomb said.

The highest total of the day was the half dozen another angler reeled in, Lipscomb said.

Prizes and trophies were given to participants in four age groups for the first catch, largest catch and most fish caught.

Clyde's Sports Shop on Hammonds Ferry Road donated 14 rods and reels to the event to be given out as prizes.

Despite the number of fish caught, the biggest fish in the pond again eluded the anglers' lures.

Participants in a fishing class at the pond have hooked Walter, a three-foot-long carp, twice in the past three years, but he has never bitten a hook at the Fishing Rodeo.

Lipscomb said he hadn't seen Walter at all this season and feared that he died or was removed from the pond. Those fears were allayed when he saw him as he cleaned the pond the day before the Fishing Rodeo.

With this year's rodeo completed, Lipscomb has already begun looking to improve the event for next year.

Lipscomb said he intends to reach out to the Arbutus and Catonsville recreation offices as a way to get more participation in the event.

"It's just to get more kids in it and give them the opportunity to enjoy it as well," Lipscomb said.

In the plans for next year is stocking the pond with more catfish, which should give the young anglers a bit more of a challenge, Lipscomb said.

Though the number of catfish in the pond has dwindled since Lipscomb fished the pond at Hillcrest Park as a child, he was encouraged by the half dozen the young anglers landed this year.

"There was quite a few numbers of them," Lipscomb said. "They weren't that big, only 10 or 12 inches. That's good. It means they're breeding."

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