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Annual free fishing derby returns Aug. 1

SOCIAL CIRCLE - The Metro Atlanta Hawg Hunters Bass Club is once again offering kids the chance to enjoy the great outdoors as it presents the 13th annual Casting for Kids Fishing Derby from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 1.

The free event will take place at Walton Fish Hatchery, run by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division and located at 2123 U.S. Highway 278 in Social Circle.

Kids ages 7 to 14 are eligible to participate, and fishing equipment and bait are provided.

"They don't have to bring nothing, but just wear a hat because the sun will be out," Hawg Hunters member Darrell Anders said.

The fishing contest runs from 9 to 11 a.m. Trophies will be awarded in several categories, including biggest and smallest fish caught.

The casting contest will take place from 11 a.m. to noon. Kids will attempt to cast a hookless line into a 42-inch wide bulls-eye target from several distances. Winners will go on to the state championship.

Lunch will be served from noon to 1 p.m., followed by an awards ceremony.

Fishing for fun will be allowed from 2 to 4 p.m.

"The kids will have a good time out there, and it's something they'll never forget," Anders said.

The derby is a catch and release event, but some fish will be harvested.

Participants must register and sign a release the day of the event.

For more information, call Anders at 770-788-3743 or Anthony Shy at 770-262-4905.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.