Fishin' Frenzy packs 'em in at Pangborn Park
Participants in MIHI's ninth annual Fishin' Frenzy wait for the big bite Saturday at Pangborn Park. (By Alicia Notarianni)
But not without the conventions and amusements of the contemporary fishing tournament.
The Clemmer boys were among nearly 400 people gathered Saturday for MIHI's ninth annual Fishin' Frenzy at Pangborn Park.
"They're gonna have trout for dinner. Probably fileted and broiled," said Dave Zook, 68, of Hagerstown.
Zook had accompanied Josh, Jeremiah and their mother, Pam Clemmer, 42, to the event. Josh clutched a line with four plump rainbow trout as he headed out of the park.
"It's good to get young kids out fishing," Zook said. "And (Josh and Jeremiah) are good fishermen, so it's fun to take them out."
Along with prizes for fishing, the tournament offered live music, door prizes, barrel rides, hay rides and pony rides.
Eric Schleigh, 30, of Hagerstown, sat at the water's edge overseeing fishing with his daughter Erianna, 7, while his wife, Deanna Schleigh, 32, took 4-year-old Erilyn for a barrel ride. Though the family typically does a lot of fishing in Big Pool, Schleigh said his daughters enjoyed the MIHI tournament's added attractions.
Jim Kittel, 42, of Ringgold, said he arrived at Pangborn at 6:45 a.m., though the event didn't begin until 8 a.m.
"I wanted to get the spot I like," he said.
His wife, Kelli, 39, and daughters Abigail, 9, and Grace, 7, arrived a little later. Before noon, both girls had caught their five-fish limit.
"I think this is great for the kids," Kittel said. "And I like that it brings attention to MIHI and some of the different equipment they've put in area parks for handicapped accessibility."
MIHI Executive Director Bill Beard said that is the group's mission — to provide a community service and to make advancements in disability issues.
"We do this as a contribution to the community so that children, people with disabilities and seniors can all fish together," he said.
Beard said the organization receives support from a number of other clubs and agencies to host the tournament. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Antietam Bassmasters Federation and the Alsatia Club provide sponsorship. The City of Hagerstown prepares the venue and entertainment, and Albert Powell Fish Hatchery supplies the fish.