Trout and catfish heaven

By Philippe Djegal - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Winter break, for most students, ends this weekend and although the cold weather is keeping a lot of kids inside playing the video games they got for Christmas, some East Texans are still hitting the lakes, fishing with the family.

Texas Parks and Wildlife held it's annual Trails to Trout event today, filling a pond up with more than 1,000 trout for the kids to catch.

More than 150 East Texans waited patiently for the big catch, and, that is of course, why they showed up.

The best part?

"Catching the fish," said Chris Riggs.

"Catching a fish," echoed Kellie Riggs.

"Catch fish," agreed Micah Johnson.

The kids are also learning valuable lessons like how to bait the hook, clean the fish, and how to cook the fish.

An event like this gives fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, a chance to bond.

"I got a fish," said Jacob Anderson. "I got it and my dad [threw it back] in the water."

"I'm still waiting," said Lonnie Mitchem.

Not everyone caught a fish.

"You have to be patient," said Mitchem.

Some say the secret is a good cast.

"You need to get it deep, because they're all hiding on the bottom of the floor," said Chris Riggs.

"It's something that everyone can do together as a family unit," said Craig Bonds, with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

"You need to get good bait, like a worm or some fish food, and that's how you catch them," said Riggs.

John Chesley brought his grandchildren out, giving the trio a chance to bond before school starts back up again.

"[It] couldn't be any better than this," said Chesley. "Yea, just couldn't be any better."

Craig Bonds says this free event showcases the best nature has to offer.

"If people can come out and fish and have a good time and appreciate the natural resources that we have to offer in this great state," said Bonds. "Then, they'll be more willing to support natural resources conservation in the future."

Texas Parks and Wildlife will hold another Trails to Trout event next Saturday, January 9th from 8:30a.m. until 4:00p.m. at the Nature Center Pond in Tyler. They will re-stock the water with trout. The kids will also learn how to grill and fry fish as well.

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