(July 19, 2019) The South Gate Pond in Ocean Pines will be buzzing with young anglers on Saturday, July 20, in anticipation for the 23rd annual Art Hansen Memorial Youth Fishing Contest.

Located near the Sports Core Pool on Cathell Road, registration for the event is free and will take place from 8:30-9:30 a.m., with the contest running from 9-10:30 a.m.

The Ocean Pines Anglers Club, the host of the event, recently held its annual “Teach a Kid to Fish Day” in late June and organizers hope to see familiar faces using their newfound skills in this Saturday’s contest.

Teach a Kid to Fish Day was a success, with about 50 children participating with their families.

“Over the years I’ve seen many kids over and over again at the contest. We do get repeat customers, so to speak,” Ocean Pines Anglers Club board member, John McFalls, said.

The fishing competition, which now draws nearly 100 participants each year, was originally started by the organization’s founder for whom it is named after.

“We like to see the parents and the kids get together,” McFalls, said. “We like to promote that kind of activity, family togetherness as opposed to kids spending a lot of time on iPads and iPhones, not that that’s bad, but we think that they should be getting out more.”

Three age groups will be designated for the competition: 4-7, 8-11 and 12-16. The angler who catches the biggest fish in each group will receive a trophy with additional special awards going to the top three.

Children younger than 4 years of age can participate in the fishing event but will not be eligible for a trophy.

With support from the event’s co-sponsors – the Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club and the Atlantic Coast Sportfishing Association – all registrants will receive a prize.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources also assists in the event by stocking the pond with various species including sunfish, bluegills and occasionally bass, as well as some other fish.

Bait will be provided, but young anglers should bring their own rod and reel, as well as bottled water, sunscreen and insect repellant is also encouraged.

For more information, contact McFalls at 610-505-1697.

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