The sun was shining on the seventh annual CAST, Community and Sheriff Together, fishing event at Lake George Regional Park in Oak Grove Aug. 4.
The event is put on jointly by the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office and local nonprofit Fishing for Life with aims to bring the community together and pass on a love of fishing.
“It’s just a great way for us to connect with our community,” Patrol Sgt. Tim Day said.
Day has coordinated the event since its beginning. The Sheriff’s Office used to host their own fishing tournament, and Day was inspired to involve the community in the fun.
Spending the day fishing with sheriff’s deputies and other volunteers leads to kids “realizing that law enforcement officers … have their best interests at heart,” Day said. Plus, “I love fishing. It’s one of my passions, and I like to pass that on.”
This year, registration was shut down weeks before the event with 100 kids interested in learning how to use a lure in the lake.
Kids had the opportunity to make their own lure, test their archery skills and more before they were assigned a boat guide to take them around the lake.
More than 40 individuals agreed to take families out on their boat and spend a few hours fishing with kids on Lake George.
Wayne and Karen Anderson took a young family out on their boat last week. Wayne received his first fishing rod at a sheriff’s event when he was 5, his wife said.
The Anoka County Parks Department opens up the park to participating families for the day, and the Oak Grove Fire Department grills up lunch for young fishers.
“It’s a big collaboration,” Day said.
The CAST fishing event is one Fishing for Life’s favorite events, and the organization hosts dozens across the state each year, according to Steve Cruikshank, operations director.
Awards were presented for the largest bass, largest northern, largest panfish and more.