Fishing is a popular weekend activity for many in East Texas. Makes sense with all the great lakes we have available to enjoy across our area. Lake Fork is always in the top 10 for bass fishing and hosts major fishing tournaments every year. Lake Palestine is great for the weekend angler. Lake Tyler, Lake O' The Pines and Lake Sam Rayburn are great lakes for a day on the boat, too. East Texas is also home to the Texas Freshwater Fishery Center in Athens where fish research for the state is carried out along with fishing education. Saturday, the Texas Freshwater Fishery Center will host an event to honor our veterans and do some fishing.

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Free Day of Fishing for East Texas Veterans

This Saturday, November 12, the day after Veteran's Day, the Texas Freshwater Fishery Center in Athens will host their 2nd annual Veteran's Day at Texas Freshwater Fishery Center. Veterans get in free with the opportunity to learn fly-tying and see fly-casting demonstrations. Attendees will also get to meet four professional fishermen:

  • Bass Fishing Hall of Fame Member Gary Klein
  • 2021 General Tire Heavy Hitters on Shearon Harris Reservoir tournament winner Alton Jones
  • East Texas' own, from Flint, Kelly Jordan
  • 2020 Challenge Cup Champion, and another fellow East Texan, from Wills Point, Jeff Sprague
The mission of the event is simple, to get veterans outdoors. It can be tough for veterans transitioning back into civilian life. For me personally, no matter what was going on in my life and all the hustle and bustle we encounter, being outdoors always put me at ease. I am fortunate enough to have opportunities to go fishing and hunting, but I know a lot of veterans don’t. I felt that being with Texas Parks and Wildlife gave me a platform to hopefully help get more veterans outdoors. There are some great organizations out there that are dedicated to helping make this happen. And we have invited them out the TFFC to get as many veterans in the outdoors as we can. - Nicholas Griffin, TPWD Fisheries Technician, Fort Worth District

Other Parts of the Event

There will be organizations on site to find out more about how they help our East Texas veterans. You'll also learn how you can donate and/or volunteer with those organizations. There is also a chance to win a two-man pontoon boat and guided fishing trips.

You can get all the details at the Texas Freshwater Fishery Center Facebook page below or at

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