By Bob Jamison

          Well, it’s almost here. Backspace a minute and peruse the news papers about the tremendous success that, in great part, was headed up by friends of the area, the Burnhams, with Kid-Fish-Day. Of course, there were a lot of other participants in the work detail required by this great event. But what it really did was to bring smiles to many kids (and moms) that might not have ever caught a fish.

I wonder how many adults in their leisure time looked at those pictures and read the stories thought to themselves, that would be fun; I’d enjoy that myself some time. It could happen. TAKE NOTICE service club members and other volunteers how you could swing this and why.

Fishing piers are numerous throughout the state, especially in the coastal waters and bayous. Lighted piers or water front homes enjoy a family outing with fishing lines and picnics. Piers off the shores of Bolivar and Galveston are but a short drive from Liberty County and they are extremely popular. They produce a lot of fish at times too. Some even have tackle and bait shops on the piers or nearby.

One piece of tackle you seldom see except on piers is a basket type net on the end of a small rope. When a fish is caught you simply drop the basket down to water level, let the fish swim into it while on your line and you retrieve it up to the pier without the likely hood of breaking your line by a flopping catch.

How could this be done here? We have the pier already. It is the old bridge over the Trinity River. Other folks have used these abandoned facilities such as Port Lavaca. The old Highway 35 bridge has become a Mecca for fishing folks for years. The Trinity River bridge, if you might imagine, can have park benches furnished by advertising that will add to the convenience of people watching, resting or just plain visiting.
All the while, you can consider the pleasure while watching your fishing rod bend to the tune of a nice catfish that swim behind pilings below the bridge. The bridge has nice railings and even rain shelters may be used above for weather protection.

Political entities such as Liberty County, the City of Liberty, Texas Parks and Wildlife or maybe the Highway Department may or may not be interested because there will be some time consuming efforts and maybe a possibility of liability. A lease to another entity (even entrepreneurs) could be considered with proper indemnification covenants. Others do this. Why couldn’t we? It would be an excellent facility for retired persons to linger in the fresh air with added park facilities which could be planter boxes serviced by certain garden enthusiast. Lights for comfort and attractions of fish could be easily installed on the bridge. Also, fish cleaning tables with running water would add to the utility.

Your consideration of this might be amplified if, and when, you next travel areas where piers are in use. Speak to the enthusiastic participants and get their comments. “The big one that got away”, or “I just wanted to get out of the house a while.” Those are the things you could hear.

Fishing tournaments have been made very popular by the idea and imagination of Ray Scott who created the first Bass Tournament. He became Mr. Bass throughout the land. On a smaller scale, groups of young or old alike could organize its own tournament with fish caught off the park bridge. Actually, the real opportunity for public benefit is the ability to create that which is beneficial to many or maybe all.

Put you thoughts to work. Come up with a plan and talk to the powers to be. Someone, somewhere will say, “I have an idea and I’m willing to share it.” When you do, you will be doing a great favor for park goers, folks fishing or others that just like to ‘get out of the house’ once in a while. One of those could be you or certainly your kid or grand kids.