Fishing Rodeo For The Disabled Held In Walnut Hill

May 4, 2008


As the storm clouds approached Saturday morning, dozens of disabled people fished around Chester Jantz’s Walnut Hill catfish pond.

“That thing floating there in the water…it will move when the fish gets it, right?”, questioned one elderly lady as she sat by the pond in her wheelchair. “I’ve never fished before, so I am not sure what will happen. But I remember seeing that thing floating in the water move when the fish got it on this TV program I watched.”

“I’m just so excited,” she said. “I’ve never fished before.”

That’s what the Pen Wheels Fiesta of Five Flags 34th Annual Fishing Rodeo held Saturday was all about.

“It was organized to give disabled people a chance to get out,” Pen Wheels Vice President Pearline McLendon told “Many of these people have never fished before. This is just one way to get them out of their houses and the nursing homes into the community.”

As the rain got closer, Pearline had only caught one small fish “but it broke the hook and got away”. She had, however, hooked at least one volunteer that was helping out.

Over the 34 year history of the fishing rodeo, it has been held at locations ranging from Ft. Pickens to the Three Mile Bridge in Pensacola. Since 2001, it has been held at Jantz’s catfish pond on South Highway 99, just off Highway 97.

“Jantz just does us right,” Pauline said. “I can’t say enough nice things about him. We never want to leave!”

Dozens of volunteers stood ready to help the disabled fish. They baited hooks, tossed a line and offered words of friendly encouragement. Many of the volunteers were from the Walnut Hill Mennonite Church.

“There are some real Christian people here helping,” Pen Wheels President Warren Jernigan said. “They really show us Christian love.”

“I like seeing the joy of the people who catch something. I even enjoy the excitement of the people who don’t catch anything but get excited from those that do catch something.”

About 50 disabled people were registered in Saturday’s fishing rodeo. They were from around the area, including Pensacola and Century. Several residents from the Century Care Center participated.

Everything, including lunch, in Pen Wheels Fishing Rodeo is provided to the disabled for free as a project of the Pensacola Fiesta of Five Flags organization.

For a complete photo gallery from the event, click here.

Pictured above and below: The Pen Wheel Fishing Rodeo for the disabled Saturday in Walnut Hill. exclusive photos, click to enlarge.



4 Responses to “Fishing Rodeo For The Disabled Held In Walnut Hill”

  1. Theresa Mcdonald on April 23rd, 2018 10:57 pm

    My husband is sad he’s waiting all year long for the fishing rodeo only to find out that when he inquired he meant hit already missed it is there anyway that in the future he can be notified of the dates of when the fishing rodeo for the disabled is

  2. Theresa Mcdonald on April 14th, 2018 7:51 pm

    What is the date of the 2018 disabled fishing rodeo.

  3. ANGEL TEER on April 11th, 2018 2:08 pm

    When is this year’s catfish rodeo for disabled???

  4. susan boudreaux on August 12th, 2010 10:06 am

    We are SO HAPPY that the disabled had a WONDERFUL DAY with a lot of fun, fishing experiences! There is nothing better than the feeling of having a fish on the other end of your line and reeling it in! That is wonderful for the Jantz family to host this yearly event.

    Their catfish pond looks awesome! Do they allow open-fishing at their farm? My ten year old son would LOVE to go fishing there. We do not want to eat them, just get the experience of catching and releasing.

    Thank you. Susan Boudreaux

Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.