Dixie Elementary student Kaylon Crear may only be 9 years old, but he already has a knack for catching fish.
That’s quite a legacy, but proud dad Chad Crear said he’s glad to have it.
“We really enjoy this,” he said. “Yesterday he was getting everything together and he woke me up early today to get ready. I didn’t need an alarm clock at all this morning.”
The Crear duo was among about 25 pairs participating in the annual father and son fishing tournament on Saturday, offered at the lake at Woldert Park by Tyler Parks and Recreation and Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Glass Recreation Center Manager Ann Santana said the event is designed to give fathers and sons a chance to spend time together outdoors, at a place that’s easily accessible and close to home.
Tourney participants were asked Saturday to turn off cellphones and other electronics.
“We told them, you’ll never get this time back,” Ms. Santana said. “When families get out in nature, they open up to one another. This lets them put the brakes on and enjoy each other. … It will be gone before you know it.”
The small 1.5-acre lake is stocked with bass, sunfish and a little something else for the cooler weather — rainbow trout, officials said.
The Tyler Nature Center, 11810 Farm to Market 850, plans to hold two classes in early January to teach children how to catch and clean a fish.
“It’s an amazing thing for a child to help put food on the table,” Ott said. “It (cleaning a fish) really doesn’t seem to bother them, it’s really about nature. Little girls are usually the first to step forward and clean them.”
Tyler fishing pro David Wilson attended the event to share a few trade secrets.
Contrary to popular belief, fish do bite in cold weather, he said.
And they do have ears, but react mostly to vibrations in the water than quiet conversations.
He started fishing as a child and attends about 18 tournaments annually.
“Right now, most video games are taking time away from parents and kids,” Wilson said. “If you can eliminate those and get out with kids, it would be a lot better. There are many video games of fishing, but it’s not the same as a real hook and standing out in the cold doing it.”
Wilson said he wouldn’t trade moments spent fishing with his father, and hopes other parents will realize the power of quality time together.
“It’s slimy and feels smooth,” an excited LeRoy Sparrow Jr., 8, a student at Caldwell Elementary School, said. “When it’s hot outside, the fish feels warm. When it’s cold, it feels cold.”
Fishing dad Jon Thornhill, of Lindale, and his son are three-year participants in the tournament. About 30 minutes into the event, they had caught one fish and more were nibbling at the opportunity.
A straight-faced Jay Thornhill, 9, said the secret to his fishing success is the bait.
“You just rip the worm in half and put the small piece on the hook,” he said.
Cody Sanders, of Lindale, and son, Jeremy, 13, a Lindale Junior High School student, seemed to appreciate the simplicity of the occasion.
Both were waiting patiently as fish began nipping at the bait, but their focus seemed to be more about quality time than landing the big one.
“We enjoy this,” Sanders said. “We’re here to make memories and have a good time.”