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franklin county times

Fun continues at Timmy Horton Fishing for Kids

Bill Jackson (left), of Russellville, captained the boat for third place winner Bobby Pitts (center) pictured with fishing rodeo host Horton.
Bill Jackson (left), of Russellville, captained the boat for third place winner Bobby Pitts (center) pictured with fishing rodeo host Horton.

As a professional angler and outdoor television personality, Timmy Horton gets to fish in lakes and rivers throughout North America, but one of his favorite fishing trips every year comes almost within casting distance of his front door.

Since 1999 Horton, a Russellville native, has played host to anglers with special needs for a day of fishing on Pickwick Lake. Horton, of Muscle Shoals, said he looks forward to the annual Timmy Horton Fishing for Kids fishing rodeo with as much enthusiasm as he does any stop on the Bassmaster Elite Series tour or any of the locations he visits for his Timmy Horton Outdoors television show.

Timmy Horton fishes with buddy Jason Buckelew. Horton, a Russellville native, has hosted the Timmy Horton Fishing for Kids fishing rodeo since 1999. The event caters to anglers with special needs.
Timmy Horton fishes with buddy Jason Buckelew. Horton, a Russellville native, has hosted the Timmy Horton Fishing for Kids fishing rodeo since 1999. The event caters to anglers with special needs.

“It’s always a very special and fun day,” Horton said. “It’s a huge day for our special anglers. They look forward to it all year, every year. It’s also big day for the volunteers. They have as much fun as anglers. It’s a big day for me too. I have as much fun at Fishing for Kids as I do at anything I do all year.”

This year’s Timmy Horton Fishing for Kids was held Sept. 24 out of Riverfront Park in Sheffield. More than 50 anglers with special needs attended, along with an army of volunteers.

One of the volunteers, Kendric Baker, an eighth grader at East Franklin Junior High School, said Timmy Horton Fishing for Kids is always fun. “Getting to help people and take them fishing makes you feel great,” he said. This was the second year Baker, a member of the Phil Campbell Fishing Team, has been a volunteer at the fishing rodeo. Student fishing teams from Belgreen and Muscle Shoals also helped out at the fishing rodeo.

Ronnie Leatherwood and his assistant, Briana Tucker of Hartselle High School, teamed with special angler Jane Berryman to win this year’s Timmy Horton Fishing for Kids. Pryce Holcombe, who fished from a boat piloted by Wayne Holt of Muscle Shoals, finished in second place. Bobby Pitts, who fished with Bill Jackson of Russellville, was third.

Over the years, Timmy Horton Fishing for Kids has evolved into much more than just a fishing rodeo, Horton said. “It’s like a family reunion. A lot of the same anglers and a lot of the same volunteers come back every year. This is the only time all year that we get to see each other and spend time with other.”

In addition to fishing, the volunteers and anglers helped out with the Keep the Shoals Beautiful Tennessee River Litter Tournament by collecting trash from Pickwick Lake and along its shoreline.

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