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Pond stocked for another Kids Fishing Day

Elaina Webler, who at the time was 3 years old, shows off her first catch during last year’s Kids Fishing Day. Her mother, Samantha, was ecastatic with her first catch. Kids Fishing Day 2018 is scheduled for10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the FOP pond in Shelbyville. File photo

By ROSS FLINT - rflint@shelbynews.com

The forecast calls for the possibility of rain, but organizers of the second annual free Kids Fishing Day are hopeful that another big crowd will turn out on Saturday for a day of food, visiting a fire truck and, of course, fishing.

Should they be forced to postpone – there is a 60 percent chance of rain on Saturday as of Wednesday afternoon – Jack Bassett said the fishing day will take place on Sunday.

As it stands, the fun starts at 10 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. Saturday. The makeup date has the same time.

Bassett and other volunteers spent about 5-1/2 hours on Tuesday cutting tree limbs down and getting the Fraternal Order of Police pond ready for what they hope to be a bigger crowd than last year.

Last year’s event brought in more than 200 people, some of whom were children fishing for the first time. The forecast a year ago also called for a chance of rain, and indeed it did for about 15-20 minutes at the beginning, but they “fished right through it,” Bassett said.

This year’s fundraiser for the fishing day was a big success, he said, raising a little over $5,000 for the event. Of that, $2,000 will buy Legos for patients at Riley Hospital in Indianapolis.

The FOP pond, located at 1273 Knightstown Road in Shelbyville, will be stocked with between 400-450 fish, including some 5-6 pound albinos, for children 16 years and younger to catch. A limited number of fishing poles will be available.

“If you do have one, please bring one,” Bassett said.

The Shelbyville Fire Department, the Shelbyville Police Department and Shelby County Sheriff’s Department will all be there, and WSVX Radio will be live playing music. There will also be food, drinks and prizes.

“I’m very excited getting to see the kids having smiles on their face,” Bassett said. “Last year was awesome. I can’t wait to get those kids fishing.”

The first fishing day, which was created as a way to introduce local children to fishing and act as an alternative to future drug use, provided an opportunity for families to get away from technology and enjoy one another. Children and their parents lined around the pond with music playing in the background.

Bassett is hoping for a similar experience the second time around.

“I hope everybody comes out,” Bassett said. “We’ll have a good time like last year. (If) we get one kid hooked on fishing instead of drugs, it’ll be worth it. Everybody just pray for the rain to stay away.”