Montgomery County Senior Fishing Rodeo draws hundreds
Fishing is a hobby that requires a lot of patience. It’s a lot of waiting and hoping, then some sitting and standing, all in the hopes of reeling in the big one. For the senior residents of Montgomery, fishing is something they look forward to all year.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office hosts the annual Montgomery County Senior Fishing Rodeo every year at their private fishing ponds. The deputies release thousands of pounds of catfish into the ponds and invite the senior residents to take a chance at catching them. The seniors arrive as early as 5:30 a.m. and the ponds close at noon.
“It gives them a great opportunity to be able to get away from the house,” said Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham. “It’s the middle of the week, kids are not there, you can just come out and enjoy yourself and have something to do. Plus, this is something they enjoy doing.”
This year, it wasn’t a senior who caught the biggest fish.
“Probably the biggest catfish I’ve seen come out of this pond!” Cunningham said about the catch.
The catch of the day was caught by 28-year-old Donyelle Sistrunk. The rodeo was her first time fishing with her grandfather, Wardell Washington. When the 15 pound catfish was on Sistrunk’s line, Washington said he was letting her handle it.
“She got him and held onto him for a while and he’d pull and went way out, and she told me ‘you get him!’ I said, ‘no, that’s your fun!'” said Washington with a laugh.
“So I’m wheeling, he’s like ‘hold up, let it get tired out first.’ Wheeling, my wrist giving out, but I’m glad I was able to pull it in myself,” Sistrunk said.
The rodeo is more than a fun event for seniors, however. Cunningham says it also serves as a way for deputies to be seen as more than someone with a badge and a gun.
“If law enforcement don’t push back from their desks, get out of their cars, and start having those conversations with our community we’re going to loose that trust and respect the community has in us. We don’t want that,” he adds.
The Senior Fishing Rodeo is held every second Tuesday of September from 6 a.m. to noon. The event is always free of charge and open to the public, deputies only ask that you bring your own bait and fishing pole. Deputies also host a Junior Fishing Rodeo for kids on the third Saturday in June. For more information about the rodeos, you can call the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at (334) 832-1339 or check out the website here.