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Mini-Me Classic Kids Fishing At Tribble Mill Park

Mini-Me Classic held at Tribble Mill Park was a blast.

Clint Buice | December 1, 2008

On Saturday Sept. 27, 2008, The Mini-Me Classic was held at Tribble Mill Park located in Grayson in Gwinnett County.

What is the Mini-Me Classic you might ask? Well, it is a parent-child bass-fishing tournament that was started on Woody’s, GON’s message board. A couple of forum members came together and presented an idea to have a father-child tournament at Tribble Mill, and it grew legs very quickly. The event became fairly large.

Like with any good kids’ fishing event, it would not have been possible without the help of fathers, mothers and other GON members.

Steve Burch, president of the GONetwork, had a lot of good advice for me in helping plan this event.

Georgia Outdoor News magazine also donated some very good-looking hats for this tournament. Fortner Taxidermy in Conyers donated a certificate for half-off on a fish mount for the kid who came in first place, and Bass Pro Shops donated prizes as well, which included Bass Pro Shops hats, gift certificates and coupons.

There was a lot of team work that went into making this event a day the kids would not forget, and believe me, the kids had a blast.

The tournament started at 8 a.m., and the weigh-in was held at 11 a.m. A hot-dog cookout followed the weigh-in, and then there was a small awards ceremony where all the kids received a ton of goodies.

We had six boats show up, and we had a handful of bank fishermen as well. I believe the gas situation kept a few people away, but I can’t really blame them.

The kids who showed up ranged from 5 years old to 12; we required kids be between 4 and 13 years of age. It was a two-fish limit to weigh-in, and the heaviest weight won the top prize. Teams had to weigh-in one adult-caught bass and one child-caught bass. There had to be at least one child-caught bass weighed in.

Dads could set the hook on a fish and then let their child fight it in, but we weren’t too serious about the rules. Our main goal was for the kids to have fun fishing with their fathers. Our logo was, “Keeping Kids Hooked on Fishing.” From the smiles on the kids’ faces, I would have to say they had a good time. Every kid left with multiple prizes and a goodie bag that my wife did an unbelievable job on. These kids probably thought it was an early trick-or-treat bag with all the candy that went into them, but it wasn’t all junk food, folks; there were some crackers and silly putty in there, too.

Now to the fishing. There was a ton of thick grass in the big lake at Tribble Mill, which made the fishing difficult. There were a few bass caught, but no lunkers were brought to the scale. Tribble Mill has some quality largemouths in it, which is proven since Randall (Woody’s small-water bass expert) has started guiding on Tribble Mill. He and his clients have caught some real heavyweights out of this Gwinnett County park.

Randall was slated to bring his little girl with him, but he had some boat problems the night before, and he was not able to make it.

Brian O’Keeffe and his son won the tournament with two bass that pulled the scale down to 1-lb., 13-ozs. There were about half a dozen other bass caught, but they were all short.

We didn’t measure the success of this tournament by the number of fish caught but by the amount of fun that each kid had. I think it is very important for dads to spend time in the outdoors with their children.

In today’s society our kids have so many video games, computer games and TV shows they like to watch, which is fine and dandy, but our kids need to be in the outdoors learning how to fish and hunt. Most importantly they need to be spending quality time with their fathers. It doesn’t even matter how many fish you catch or how big the fish are. All that matters is the time spent with their dads.

This was the first year for the Mini-Me Classic, but I can promise you there will be another one. It was great to meet other GON members and watch our kids play together and get to spend a little time out on the water with our mini-me’s. Take your kids fishing, and start making memories.

Editor’s Note: The GONetwork occasionally gives a “Pat on the Back” when it hears about folks doing good things to help protect our outdoor heritage. If you have a Pat on the Back candidate that you think deserves some recognition, please e-mail <[email protected]>.

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