Picture perfect day at the park

Friday, August 23, 2013
Experiencing a Huckleberry Finn moment, several youngsters took part on the annual Kids Fall Free Fishing Day at Roaring River State Park with bare feet in the cool water. The park saw 888 kids and their families participating in the fall event.

Roaring River State Park was home to its annual fall Free Kids Fishing Day on Aug. 17, with Mother Nature providing perfect weather for the event.

"It was a picture perfect day," said Paul Spurgeon, hatchery manager for the park. "You couldn't have asked for better weather."

A total of 888 kids turned out for the fall event, somewhat fewer than last year's 904.

Those catching the biggest fish of the day were Deacon Grainger, of Pryor, Okla., with a 6.82-pound fish, and Jera Prewitt, of Wheaton, with a 4.90-pound fish.

"The fish were biting well all day long," Spurgeon said. "We had a lot of stringers go out of here."

Spurgeon said park employees stocked approximately 2,000 fish weighing between three-quarters and one pound each.

Prizes awarded to young anglers this year included one of 150 rods and reels from Cabela's Outfitters, a canoe and one-night stay at Stockton Lake for parent appreciation prizes, a bow from Chris Berry and PSE Bows, a fly fishing outfit from Charlie Stock, and a fly fishing outfit from David Waugh, of Roaring River Concessions.

Sponsors for this year's event included: Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Roaring River Concessions, Cabela's Outfitters, the Cassville Area YMCA, Academy Sports, LMC Trucks, Les Jacobs Ford, Charlie Stock Midwest Flies, Freedom Bank, Cabins at Stockton Lake, Whitley Pharmacy, Subway, Arvest Bank, BBQ Station, Commerce Bank, Security Bank, R&M Bait Company, MAKO Fly Fishing Club, Ron Moffatt, Junior and Clarice Stephens, Roaring River Parks Alliance, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and Chris Berry, of PSE Bows.

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