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The big fish

Posted: October 12, 2017 3:23 p.m.
Updated: October 13, 2017 1:00 a.m.

Life hosts so many things to ponder. Have you ever pondered what 211 pounds of fish looks like, or better yet, what 1,540.08 pounds of fish looks like? Well, neither had I.  

But, last weekend I had the honor of presenting the Cabela’s King Kat 2017 Southern Championship awards.  The individuals who won the top 10 prizes caught (and released) 1,540 pounds of catfish during the two day tournament. 112 fishermen from seven states competed for major prizes and cash.  

There were several things I learned that I desire to share with our local fishermen. First, on Lake Wateree, the best fishing depth for catfish is 18-26 feet. I can’t share the best locations, as the winners fished from mid- lake to Clearwater Cove to the bridge ledge. The “big fish” weighed 45.56 pounds.  Second, there were some great prizes associated with this tournament. The first place team with 211 pounds, Kelly Godbolt of Conway and Ron Howard of Eutawville,  won a Boat Package (Alumacraft 1860 with a Mercury 75hp motor, a trolling motor, on-board charger and a rod rack), $3000, a $500.00 DriftMaster Bonus and a $500 X-Treme Bonus. Along with the City of Camden, many sponsors and contributors, brought another very successful event to our local area. We sincerely appreciate everyone who participated, sponsored and worked to ensure a fun weekend was enjoyed by all.

Wow! It was a beautiful way to experience a great October weekend. Mark your calendars, the next big fishing event is scheduled for April 28-29, 2018.

While we are pondering, let’s think about a few other topics. Enjoying Camden, tourism, autumn, parks, education, taxes, local government come to mind as I write.

Tourism is a significant economic driver for Camden.  In addition to all the special events and festivals, visitors love the unique and interesting shopping and dining experiences offered. We need to make everyone know they are welcome in our community.  Perhaps you should even consider being a “tourist” by booking a weekend staycation. You might be amazed at how much there is to do and see. Be sure you have your phone charged as you will want to capture some beautiful fall photographs.

Autumn is the perfect time to take in one of the 17 parks in Camden.  The colors of fall are appearing, the children are playing, there are some free concerts, leashed four-legged friends are welcome, history abounds and some offer water features. From the heart of downtown to the outer reaches of the city limits, Camden has a park for you.  Take a quilt and a picnic meal to savor as you soak in the beauty of Autumn. 

Camden has public schools, private schools, ATEC and the community college offering great educational opportunities.  The new elementary school on Laurens Street is just beginning to take shape.  Education crosses so many lines: teaching/learning, sports, communications, socialization and much more.  If you would like to witness true community pride, take in a Camden high football game on a beautiful fall evening.  

Camden is continually improving. Your Camden leaders are fiscally responsible with using tax funds for the betterment of our entire city. When you have the opportunity, go by the new tennis complex to see one of the ways your hospitality tax is hard at work. Remember, you (and all of our visiting tourists) only pay hospitality tax when you purchase prepared food and when dining out.  This complex is another opportunity for us to “get moving”. Combining exercise and eating a healthy diet is a perfect way to celebrate fall.

Perhaps you have been pondering something; please visit with me or any member of council at every opportunity. Your Mayor and four Councilmembers are supported by a strong city manager and staff. Each elected official has an equal vote when making decisions for the entire city. Please join us on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at Camden City Hall to witness and participate in your government.

Take time to ponder the Big Fish, too.

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