A view of the French Broad River. Photo courtesy of RiverLink.

From RiverLink, shared May 2:

ASHEVILLE — RiverLink, ClearChannel and the Asheville Outdoor Center are hosting the 2011 Fins & Gills Classic Fishing Tournament at the Asheville Outdoor Center from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, May 14.

The Fins & Gills Classic is designed to get fishermen on the French Broad River and rods and reels in the hands of some kids to get them interested in fishing and the French Broad. The third annual Fins & Gills Classic looks to be much bigger and busier than the previous two events. Phil Martin of ClearChannel is a fishing fanatic and has been the driving force behind the event again.

There will be free Shakespeare rods and reels for the first 100 kids who show up. There will also be a portable trout pond stocked with trout – brook trout. “Brookies,” as they are known, are native to the mountains of WNC. There will be hot dogs cooked on site, and storyteller Vixi Jil Glenn will spin a yarn or two from inside one of the AOC’s teepees.

Martin will teach a variety of classes aimed at young anglers and there will be door prizes, spot prizes, and for those taking part in the fishing tournament, prizes in categories like “biggest fish” and “most species caught.”

More seasoned anglers can register for the fishing tournament up until 8 a.m. Saturday morning. At 8:30 a.m., an Asheville Outdoor Center shuttle will take anglers and their watercraft to Bent Creek for a float-and-fish back to the AOC. Weigh-and-release stations will be provided, and the final weigh-in will be at 2 p.m., followed by the prize-giving. Prizes include goods — kayaks, flyrods, gift certificates — from Diamond Brand, Davidson River Outfitters, and Greg Clark’s Country Side Marine.

Contact RiverLink’s Dave Russell for more information at (828) 252-8474, Ext. 11.

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Kathleen O'Nan is a contributing reporter to Carolina Public Press.

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