Although no fish were caught, there weren’t any losers during the competition at the “Cops and Bobbers” event hosted Saturday by the DeKalb Police Department and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“Altogether, I think it was a really great day. Even though we’re not catching any fish, every kid is walking away with at least a smile,” said Courtney Denison, Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of DeKalb County.
It wasn’t from a lack of effort that no fish were netted. Hannah Cappelli, 12, of DeKalb was so determined to catch a fish that she had to take a short break at one point, because her hand was cramping from all the casting and reeling.
Saturday’s event was a collaboration between The DeKalb Police Department, Big Brothers Big Sisters of DeKalb County, Target, Lukulo’s, Shabbona Lakeside Bait and Tackle, Zebco, and CST Storage.
The fishing rods were donated by the DeKalb Police Benevolent Protection Association Unit 71, who bought them through a cost share program with Zebco.
Twenty-two children between the ages of 6 and 17 attended the event, and they were all given a Zebco 202 fishing rod. The remaining rods will be available to borrow for the day at the DeKalb Police Department for any kids who want to go fishing around DeKalb.
Demarcus McFadden, 8, of Genoa was excited about getting a new fishing pole because he broke his the last time he fished.
“I was hoping to get a new one, one day, and this is the perfect opportunity,” Demarcus said.
Target co-sponsored the event and provided 10 volunteers, as well as gift cards for the fishing derby winners. Since no fish were caught, a longest cast competition was held for the two age groups and awards were also given for sportsmanship and teamwork.
Lukulo’s provided hot dogs and chips for the humans and Shabbona Lakeside Bait and Tackle donated food for the fish.
Detective Paul Mott of the DeKalb Police Department, who helped coordinate the event, was heartbroken that the kids didn’t catch any fish. He chose the location – a private lake on the property of CST Storage in DeKalb – based upon a tip by Dave Elliott, the bass fishing coach at DeKalb High School.
“We came here because there’s supposed to be a lot of fish, but I guess we can’t make [them] bite,” Mott said.