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Illinois kids take part in fishing rodeo to reconnect with the outdoors

For twenty years club president Randy Stephens has helped put on a fishing rodeo. It’s just an opportunity to get the kids out and win some prizes while getting involved with the outdoors.

Posted: Jun 3, 2018 6:20 PM

PORTERVILLE, Ind. (WTHI)- Just off the main road in Porterville Saturday kids like Trace Sisil came out to put their fishing skills to the test. It's a passion he says he’s loved since he was only one.

"Well sending that bobber out catching them bluegill and sometimes bass. Get lots of worms on there and you can catch like a catfish," said Sisil describing the thrill of hooking a fish.

Sisil was one of sixty kids taking part in a fishing rodeo. It's an event put on by the Eastern Illinois Sportsmen's Club.

For twenty years club president Randy Stephens has helped put on this event for kids to test their skills with a rod.

"It’s just an opportunity to get the kids out and give them a day to fish. Win some prizes. We give prizes for three different age groups for biggest fish, most fish and then a grand prize drawing," said Stephens.

For these kids it was a race to catch the big one but for these parents it means a lot more. It allows them to bond closer to their families but also to teach their kids to be more involved outdoors.

"It’s just a really good way for the community to get out and participate in an outdoor activity,” said Kristen Morrison who had children taking place in the rodeo. “Our kids are so tied to technology these days that it’s just nice to get them out in nature and having fun."

This was Stephens last year as coordinator of the rodeo but he plans to continue to help in the future. He just hopes this event will continue for another twenty years. Getting the next generation more involved with the environment.

"Like I said giving them an opportunity, teaching them, get them the feel of fishing and have the opportunity to do it that I hope it continues and keep the outdoor sports alive and keep people in the outdoors,” said Stephens.

Illinois has their own free fishing weekend coming up That will take place from June 15th through the 18th.

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