Families grabbed lines and poles then went down to the fishing hole at the Twin Lakes Park in Dutchtown for the East Ascension Sportsman’s League’s 55th Annual Kids Fishing Rodeo Saturday.

The free event, open to the public for children ages 2-14, promotes fun for the entire family, said Bettye Lambert, the committee chairwoman.

“My grandchildren have been asking me for weeks, ‘Is it time to go yet?’ ” Lambert said.

The Kids Fishing Rodeo aims to teach children the fun of being outdoors, the essentials of teamwork, and the art of being social, said Connie Depew, the editor for EASL’s newsletter.

Admission was free, and no fishing permits were required. Families brought their own fishing rods and buckets. Live bait was provided by the EASL. “Approximately 150 kids come each year to the event. The same kids come till they age out, then they come back and help out,” Lambert said.

Teri Henry, a mother of two, has been attending the fishing rodeo since she was 7.

“It’s a good family event that doesn’t cost you anything, and they feed you good,” Henry said. Doughnuts, hot dogs and jambalaya were provided for participants as the fish caught were counted and weighed by the EASL volunteers.

EASL President Ryan Schilling said the event is part of the group’s community service efforts that allow the members to give back. The group supports several community service projects throughout the year that promote outdoor activities.

“Fishing is being able to spend time with my husband; I’m hooked, and I’m a girly girl! It’s something that a family can do together and spend quality time together,” Depew said.

Seth Baye’s 3.3-pound catch won the biggest fish overall prize. Elizabeth Kennison, with 48 fish, and Ayden Fatheree, with 58, won prizes for the most fish caught.

Other winners included:

Age 2-4

Most Fish, Girls: Sophie Bordelon, 17

Most Fish, Boys: Leighton Fatheree, 17

Biggest Fish: Miles Bowman, .47 lbs.

Age 5-7

Most Fish, Girls: Braylee Lambert, 29

Most Fish, Boys: Nikolaus Kahn, 34

Biggest Fish: Keenan Wilson, .63 lbs.

Age 8-10

Most Fish, Girls: Kaylyn Carter, 47

Most Fish, Boys: Wesley Robinson, 41

Biggest Fish: D’Shawn Hunt, 2.80 lbs.

Age 11-14

Most Fish, Girls: Sadie Bourgeois and Karlie Delhommer, 12

Most Fish, Boys: Kanaan Watts, 27

Biggest Fish: Rosa Rodriguez, .60 lbs.