Big fish and lil' rascals

At age 11, Jake McAvoy already knows plenty about fishing.

"I'm going to be catching them left and right, I guarantee it," he said as he walked toward the Lil' Rascals pond behind the Safety Center. "I go all the time and I do pretty good. I'm the best fisherman at Loudy."

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Not every child at the Kids and Cops fishing day had the confidence of McAvoy. In fact, many were a little shy of the fish.

And the bait.

Katie Bohne was walking back for more bait shortly after her first cast.

"A fish already stole my bait," the 10-year-old said.

Kids and Cops fishing together was the idea of Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz.

"About four years ago, I asked if I could use this pond as a fishing project," Jantz said. "Now, we have multiple agencies here helping out. This is the biggest turnout ever."

With more than 100 children and parents enjoying the nice weather and free fishing offered Wednesday, kids clearly outnumbered the cops.

Sponsored by the Moffat County Sheriff's Office, Craig Police Department, Colo--rado State Patrol and dispatch, Colorado State Parks, Colorado Division of Wildlife and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, every kid who needed assistance could find help nearby, without a call to 911.

Measuring fish was an important task for officials, as prizes and bragging rights relied on an accurate length.

Four-year-old Hunter Cole--man registered a 10 1/2-inch trout after fishing a short time.

Kyanna Woods pulled in her first bass, a 13-inch monster for the 6-year-old.

The first male to land a fish was Curtis Dunlap with a 14-inch trout, and Steven Walls reeled in a 15 1/2-inch bass soon after.

The DOW stocked the pond in March and April to give the fish time to settle in, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added bass taken from the Yampa River as part of the endangered fish recovery program.

Hot dogs and chips kept the kids full as the fish kept them busy.

Calob Herndon, an 8-year-old, said he also came last year to the Kids and Cops fishing day and he enjoyed it. On Wednesday, he had two fish and was going back for more.

When last checked, Loudy-Simpson's best fisherman, Jake McAvoy, was indeed catching them left and right. He had four fish after fishing about 40 minutes.

Dan Olsen can be reached at 824-7031, ext.207, or dolsen@craigdailypress.com

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