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Bob Watt Fishin’ Rodeo fills park


While one Farragut youngster experienced his first episode of “the one that got away,” another Farragut child was rewarded for corralling the biggest fish during the annual Bob Watt Youth Fishing Rodeo on a sunny Saturday afternoon, June 3, along Fort Loudoun Lake at Anchor Park.

Among 154 children ages preschool to 15 out to catch catfish stocked by the town of Farragut, along with bluegill and carp, was 4-year-old Frank Standaert of Farragut.

“This was his first ‘one that got away’ story,” said his father, Bob Standaert, moments after the preschooler barely missed a ‘big one.’ “We had one, it was probably a good foot long, then the line snapped. We don’t know if he bit through it or just broke it, and swam off with the hook and bait.”

Undaunted by his bad luck, Frank added with a smile, “We need a thicker rope.”

After three hours of lakeside effort, it was 6-year-old Lucas Biggerstaff of Farragut who reigned supreme in the category of “Grand Prize, Biggest Fish.”

Lucas’ catch, a 6.7-pound carp, earned him a new rod and reel that he proudly displayed.

Among the other winners were 5-year-old Viktoria Schrubb of Farragut (7-and-under girls/most fish caught/six), and 4-year-old Michael Lumsdaine of West Knoxville (7-and-under boys/most fish caught/six).

Other winners: male 7-and-under, smallest fish, Trace Barth; female 7-and-under, smallest fish, Taylor Webster.

Male 8 to 11, most fish, Conner Bihlmeyer and Andrew Whitt; smallest fish, August Houston and Mason Hudgins; female 8 to 11, most fish, Sydney Sharpe; smallest Fish, Taryn Bogan.

Male 12 to 15, most fish, Kai Watt; smallest fish, Dillion Landguth; female 12 to 15, most Fish, Ashley Witt.

Another Farragut father-son duo enjoyed success, though the son found his catfish a bit slippery to handle once it was

lakeside.

“He put it out there and saw the line go under and he pulled it in,” said Phil Klenkel of Farragut about his son, Bryan, 13, as the younger Klenkel confirmed it was the largest fish he’s ever caught in “like, six” years of fishing (3.2 pounds).

However, father and son decided not to make this fish a trophy piece, electing to toss it back in the lake. “Let him go, get a little bigger, and maybe somebody else ’ll catch ’em,” Phil Klenkel said.

Robb Oringderff of Maryville said he and his family “were just looking for something to do and I believe [Darla, his wife] saw it in the newspaper. … We were looking for things to do on the weekend with the kids.

“The kids love to fish, and they have been begging to go fishing,” Darla Oringderff said. “And we’ll be back next year.”

Mom describes her 7-year-old daughter, Kelty, as “my fisherwoman.”

With 3-year-old little sister Rebekah Webber running alongside, 5-year-old Trent Webber eagerly hurried toward the weigh-in area with rod and reel extended and the small bluegill he bagged still attached to the line.

It was a tiny fish indeed (0.09 pounds), but Trent’s sense of pride could have filled the lake according to his mother.

“He’s so excited to get that bluegill,” said his mother, Jennifer Webber of Powell. “He’s been waiting patiently and watching carefully.”

Trent added, “I just waited and waited and finally I caught it.”

“This is [our] first year, we wanted to come last year but Trent was sick,” the mother added. “We were so excited to come today, [Trent’s] been making fishing poles at home.”

Event founder Bob Watt, the backbone of the annual youth rodeo “for twenty-two years,” said he’s simply trying to fill a void.

“So many young people now don’t get an opportunity to fish because their dads don’t fish, or they’re too busy working,” Watt said. “This way they get an opportunity to fish. Learn how to fish.

“I had a young man here about five or six years ago, came up and asked me if he could help, and I said, ‘sure.’ He said, ‘you introduced me to fishing fifteen years ago.’”

Along with sponsorship from the town of Farragut and Watt himself, “Ronnie Cockrum, he owns the Lovell Heights Barber Shop, he’s been a big help to me on this thing. He just kinda took me under his wing and helped me out.”

Watt estimated the 2006 rodeo event cost $1,500 to $2,000.

Among the “twelve to fifteen” event volunteers, Watt praised the husband-wife team of Charlie and Joyce Benziger. “He and his wife work every year,” Watt said. “Charlie’s been helping me for at least twenty years.”

 

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