As eight-year-old Zeus took his stroll along Turtle Creek Boulevard on sunny Saturday, June 18, he was a little surprised to see the lane along the east side of the street filled with vehicles. What was more surprising for the 160-lb. Great Dane was the throngs of youngsters scampering on the ground, a bounce house, bubbles floating in the air and a bucket of dirt that seemed to be in motion. It wasn’t his eyes, there were loads of worms causing the motion in the pail.
Didn’t matter. Generations of kids, parents and grandparents like Sarah and Rodney Teague with son-in-law Chris Divis and their grandsons (Bennett Ball, Luke Ball and Harry Divis) were vying for the Derby’s awards — biggest catch, smallest catch and most fish. Only problem was no one had planned for a “most unusual catch.” That in all probability would have gone to a turtle had it been landed or the albino catfish that was momentarily hooked.
For some like Brian Danley and his seven-year old son Maxwell Danley, they had fished before but never along the Turtle Creek. With the surge of lines being tossed into the creek, the resident Muscovy ducks wisely stayed on dry ground or on the opposite side of the creek.
As quickly as fish were measured and recorded at the judges’ tables on the platform overlooking the creek, the finned captives were returned to their watery digs. By the end of the morning, the judges’ results were revealed with the following winners:
- Largest catch — 22″ fish caught by Hudson Sartain, age 9
- Second largest catch — 21¾” fish caught by Jewel James, age 6
- Smallest catch — 3½” fish caught by Allie Grover, age 8
- Most fish caught — nine fish caught by Sam Leonard, age 8
And just as every angler has their own secret to the catch of the day, so these youngsters shared their key to success. Allie attributed the Grover team’s win to having found the sweet spot on the bank where a school of fish ranged in all sizes. Her brother, Sebastian, was amazed that he dropped his line into the water and ten seconds later Allie told him that he had landed one.
Just a few feet away Sam and his grandmother Rheada Leonard had found an even bigger family of fish and hauled in the most fish caught. However, Hudson and his dad Travis Sartain decided to throw caution to the wind as well as their lines on the other side of the creek, where he landed the big fish of the day.
And it wasn’t all fishing. In the shadow of The Claridge, Charlie Corts had a birthday donut with a sparkler presented by the Turtle Creek Conservancy staff and other fisher types. After the sparkler was snuffed out, Charlie Corts, his brother Connor Corts and parents Katie and Christian Corts returned to their spot with rods in hands as a family of Muscovy ducks floated by… on the opposite side of the creek.
But not all were into catch-and-release programs. Some were trying out the bounce house, while toddler sisters Claire Whitaker and Vivian Whitaker were tasting their very first chocolate donut holes and others like Kamron Karimi who was happy just being arm candy for his parents Katherine and Rudy Karimi.
For more looks of the kids, grownups and catches of the day, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.
* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron