More than 200 showed up Friday at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery for the annual Seniors (Citizens) and Individuals with Disabilities Fishing Day.
Fishing poles and bait were provided and the participants could catch up to four fish and keep them, as volunteers cleaned them.
Sitting by one of the ponds were brothers Ervin and Dennis Wellesley.
“I have fished here for four years,” said Ervin. “But have been fishing for 82 years. I don’t know why we enjoy that so much. I just think about fishing.”
Asked if they had any fish stories to tell, Ervin said, “I think my biggest fish story is when (Dennis) caught a four pound catfish, when we were little kids.”
Dennis added, “Well, several small ones (laughing). We grew up down here in McDonald County, where we lived. We had to walk four miles down the hollow to Big Sugar Creek. We would camp out under this bluff in Cyclone and we would fish. It was just no better thing to do growing up than going down there fishing.”
Remembering those days, Ervin said they would catch the fish and cook themon a campfire.
Asked between the two of them who catches the most fish, Ervin said his brother does.
“He has more patience than I do,” Ervin said.
Dennis added, “I don’t know if that is true or not, it used to be. It is just fun, just absolute fun.”
Husband and wife Chuck and Connie Sluder enjoyed the day as well.
“I love it, I wish that they would have it more than once a year,” she said, holding a fishing pole. “My folks took me fishing when I was like I grade school.”
Connie said they used corn and worms at the fishing day.
“Normally, they (fish) like the corn better, but so far this morning, they have not got hungry yet,” she said. “I like trout. I was raised trout fishing in California, so trout is my first fish.”
And once the Sluders catch their limit of fish, Connie said they would take them home.
“I freeze them in water and then when I thaw them out, I either pan fry them or bake them,” Connie said.
After the fishing event, participants enjoyed a cookout.