Excellent fishing at Granite Lake Park for fun event

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 4, 2011

By David Freeze
For the Salisbury Post
On Saturday, Granite Quarry opened the lake for fishing at the Granite Lake Park.
The Town of Granite Parks and Recreation Commission partnered with the Wildlife Commission to offer the “Fish for Fun Event.”
This was only the second time that fishing has been allowed since the park was constructed, so fishing was excellent. There was no cost to those participating. Rods and reels, as well as bait were provided to anyone interested.
Lt. Perry Smith of the Wildlife Commission explained that this is an ongoing program offered by the Wildlife Commission through a partnership with city government. This partnership offers many benefits for area residents.
“We have an opportunity to develop future sportsmen, and we are particularly excited about the kids who are here,” Smith said. “They get to interact with community volunteers and wildlife officers, and we view the program as a recruiting tool. Many of the participants today are new fishermen. This is an easy way for them to get started.”
Granite Quarry officials were on hand to participate and support “Fish for Fun.” Town Events Coordinator Susan Closner helped organize the event, and she spent the day at the park with Councilwoman Eloise Peeler and Parks and Recreation committee member Neil Marcum.
“This is good and free family time,” Closner said. “Lots of families are here. We are tentatively planning to do this again in October.”
Eloise Peeler, who is on the Parks and Recreation Commission, said it was a nice day to be out in the park, especially for the new people who wouldn’t be there otherwise.
“Ninety-eight people have signed in to fish,” she said.
Neil Marcum, another commission member, spent the day fishing with his grandchildren Catherine and Luke.
“The lake has become overstocked, and so fishing has been really good. Lots of fathers and grandfathers are here fishing with family members,” he said. “We are excited about our Parks and Recreation Commission. We want to utilize the parks.”
The Wildlife Commission officers on hand included Lt. Smith of Monroe, Officer Bill Tarplee from Rowan County, Capt. John Campbell of Rockwell, and Sgt. Barry Rowell of Union County. They gave instruction on proper fishing techniques and assistance where needed.
One officer baited a hook for a first-time male fisherman, and within minutes the new angler had pulled in a 2-pound bass. Large white coolers were placed around the lake for any fish not taken home. One rule for the day was that no fish could be released back into the lake after being caught. Unwanted fish placed in the coolers were available for others to take home. “This is a break from our routine,” said Lt. Smith. “Our officers will help land the fish and they are even using nets to bring in the bigger ones. We really enjoy this.”
It wasn’t only men bringing the family to fish. Sherry Brother caught two fish herself, and hoped that grandson Hassan Biggers would have had some luck, too.
“Hassan was more interested in catching turtles,” Brother said. “There were a lot of them out today. I love seafood, and of course fresh seafood is best. I’m going to let those wildlife officers send some of the extra fish home with me.”
Residents from other towns heard about the Fish for Fun day and came. Brandon and Amy Roberts brought sons, Peyton, Tyler and Chase.
“We live in Kannapolis, and we don’t get to go fishing very often,” said Brandon Roberts.
After helping one of his sons to fish, Roberts commented, “This is good for the community. We’re going to eat lunch soon, and we’ll get ice cream, then we will do other things in Granite Quarry. I drive by here often, but never stopped until today.”
Hot dog plates were being sold by the Fire Department Auxiliary, led by President Alice Barnette.
“We are raising money to help with more educational opportunities,” she said. “There is such pride in Granite Quarry. Residents are closeknit and supportive.”
The auxiliary plans a Fire Department Muster Competition at Granite Quarry Civic Park on Aug. 27.
“The town furnished the facility for fishing,” Councilwoman Peeler said. “We are excited that so many came out to take advantage of free fishing. It is an example of good utilization of our parks. Watch for more great events coming soon.”