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Family Fest Reels in Youngsters, Fishing Fans

Family Fest Reels in Youngsters, Fishing Fans Bassmaster Family Fest, a prelude to the Classic, is a children's fishing derby that draws families from around the region.
 

 PITTSBURGH – Hundreds of children wet a line at Bassmaster Family Fest in Point State Park earlier today, part of the 35th annual Classic week.
   Bassmaster Family Fest, a prelude to the Classic, is a children's fishing derby that draws families from around the region.
   As the children cast their lines into the water, parents, family and spectators lined the banks of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, cheering them on. The children reveled when they had a bite and excitedly showed off their accomplishments.
   Brothers Nick Roberts, 8, and Roy Roberts, 11, from Pittsburgh might have seen the most action on the water. They battled a 7-pound catfish and Nick hooked the prize, but needed help from big brother Roy to reel it in.
   "That thing was huge!" said Nick. "It was the biggest fish I ever caught."
   Bill Speer, a 2004 and 2005 Open competitor, traveled from Houston to attend the Classic festivities, getting a jump start on the excitement with the Family Fest.
   Speer carried with him a 21-year-old bass hat filled with angler autographs that his father passed down to him. The amateur angler secured as many missing autographs as he could.
   "I think this is great," said Speer. "It's important to have activities like this to get kids involved and BASS has done a great job."
   The Family Fest also included an autograph session with all 47 Classic anglers and interactive activities including a moon bounce, giant slide, face painting, clowns, balloon animals and magicians. Children ages 7-14 who registered for the event received a t-shirt, hats, stickers, lures and the most beloved prize, a Zebco rod and reel.
   BASS held its first Family Fest in 1983 with a crowd of about 500 attending. This year's Fest hosted several thousand attendees with more than 1,000 rods and reels distributed.
   "The people and this city have been amazing," said Stacy Twiggs, BASS youth manager. "The picturesque back drop of Point State Park really epitomizes the class of the city and it was arguably one of the best-received Family Fests ever. It was a first class production."

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The 2005 Bassmaster Classic

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