Volunteers Gather in the Volunteer State

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On September 25th and 26th United Special Sportsman Alliance(USSA) held its inaugural catfishing event on the Tennessee River at Pickwick Landing State Park.

The Knights of Columbus served pizza during the meet and greet session on Sunday evening. A fascinating educational program with live owls presented and sponsored by the Pickwick Landing State Park Rangers.

Early the following morning, catfish anglers from four states and their families converged on one of the premier fishing destinations when it came to giant catfish. The fishing was outstanding as big catfish tested the arm and willpower of our kids. One family caught five catfish weighing a total of 126 lbs heaviest fish weighing 46 lbs.
It was inspiring to see the anglers provide their talent and skills, and the community’s highly motivated and caring volunteers helped create a smooth, carefree experience for our beautiful families.

The Hardin County Fire Department allowed the families to sit in a real firetruck, which was a big hit for everyone. Then the fireman served a delicious lunch of pulled pork, chicken strips, beans, potato salad, and coleslaw provided by Bubba’s Smoke Shack. The children were then given B&M fishing poles, autograph hats by Bill Dance, Fin Spins Jigs, and bait donated by Patriot Catfishing Inc.

Many thanks to the Catfish anglers/guides, Lodge at Pickwick Landing, Pickwick Landing State Park, Knights of Columbus, Bubba’s Smoke Shack, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and Flowers Bread Store. Also, the many wonderful USSA volunteers and donors provided the necessities and dollars to support this fantastic event. Special thanks to Cedric Poynor, who was outstanding in all respects in coordinating his first fishing event.

A song by the group Alabama spoke of the Tennessee River as a place “where peace and love can still be found.” I can indeed say their song is as true today as the day it was written!

It was a pleasure having Sheltering Tree Ranch, Hope Kids, and Jesus Cares families participating in the event. It is heartwarming to see charities working together to better the lives of the extraordinary families we have the privilege of serving. God bless!

If you know of a deserving child or veteran who might want to attend a free fishing or hunting trip, don’t hesitate to contact United Special Sportsman Alliance.