YADKINVILLE — Yadkin County children were able to spend the day fishing without a license Saturday thanks to the North Carolina Department of Wildlife’s Youth Day.
Several multi-generational families were at the Yadkin County Park where NCDW enforcement officer Toby Butcher was on hand with several child-friendly rods and reels ready to help kids enjoy the day. “I try to do as much as I can here with the kids,” said Butcher, explaining that they chose Saturday to correlate with national activities.
“By doing [Youth Day] today we can sign the kids up for door prizes,” explained Butcher, who was excited that one child participating in the multitude of fishing events planned for National Fishing and Boating Week would win a lifetime fishing license.
Stocked with catfish once each month between April and September, the lake is opened to the public, however Saturday the kids filled the docks.
Fishing since he was 3, Caleb Benfield is now 13. “He would fish from the time he wakes up until he closes his eyes,” declared grandmother Carol, who was fishing with her son and grandchildren.
“I like just getting away from home and relaxing,” said Caleb.
Caleb’s 9-year-old sister Makayla was present but not doing much fishing. “I don’t have the patience for it,” she explained.
It took more than patience for some of the day’s fishermen and women to catch what they were hoping for. At 2 years old Beau-Grady Cooper was eagerly casting for alligators.
Other children had better luck. Traeton Moxley, 6, caught two fish that were several pounds with the help of his dad.
Butcher explained, “If we see someone is struggling we might hand them a rod that already has a bite on it,” which is made easier because the NCDW provides everything needed including the rod and reel and the bait so the event is at no cost whatsoever to participants.
“I think it’s wonderful that Wildlife does this,” declared Traeton’s grandmother, Robin Moxley. “Some kids get the opportunity to come out that might not own a fishing pole. They get to experience this as a family.”
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.