By Heather Regula, Correspondent
Throughout the state of Texas, a Free Fishing Day is offered on the first Saturday in June, in celebration of the start of National Fishing and Boating Week. On this day, fishing enthusiasts can fish on any public body of water, without a fishing license.
In celebration of this day, the Morgan’s Point Resort Volunteer Fire Department and Morgan’s Point Resort Police Department hosted the Annual Kids Fishing Derby, from 8 a.m.-11 a.m., on Saturday, June 2 at the Morgan’s Point Marina. Over 260 children and their families participated in this free event, which was open to children, ages 12 and under.
“We’ve got more people fishing here today than we ever have. Our town is growing, and people are discovering Morgan’s Point Resort,” remarked Morgan’s Point City Manager David Huseman. “This wouldn’t be possible without our sponsors – Academy Sports, Elks Lodge #138, Active Auxiliary, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Belton Feed and Seed, Fellowship Baptist Church, and Central Texas Wholesale Bait.”
Mother Nature hasn’t always cooperated with recent years’ attempts at hosting the Annual Kids Fishing Derby.
“All of the rain we had in May 2015 caused widespread flooding, and the marina was underwater. This is the first year since then that the weather has been nice enough for us to host this event. The Kids Fishing Derby has been taking place for decades, and we have generations of people out here participating,” explained Morgan’s Point Police Chief Charles Cline. “We’re grateful for the beautiful weather, the generosity of our sponsors, and the love that this community shows for this event and each other.”
Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens, equipped with 93 fishing poles to loan out, live and artificial bait, were on hand to assist anglers. The MPRVFD Ladies Auxiliary handled registration while the Elks Lodge #138 volunteers served as judges. Attendees were able to ride on Marine 61 and the Texas Parks and Wildlife boat.
“I met my wife in 1966 when I was stationed at Fort Hood. I retired after 27 years of service and stayed in this area. We moved to Morgan’s Point in 1975 – when my son, Dwayne, was in third grade. He’s the mayor of this town now,” exclaimed Retired First Sergeant Larry Gossett. “I used to bring my grandsons here to fish, and today, I’m here with my great grandsons – nine-year-old Carl and six-year-old Hunter. We have three generations of Gossetts our here today. The Kids Fishing Derby is a good community get-together – it’s a lot of fun whether you catch anything or not!”