staff photo by phyllis zorn
George Osborne cleans up his fishing boat while his four-legged fishing partner, Copper, supervises.
Fishing offers fun, even
for furry family members
George Osborne brings his four-legged fishing partner from Wichita to try their luck at Marion County Park and Lake as often as they can.
He has a ready-made place to stay, a lakeside trailer owned by his parents, Rick and Irene Barkman of Hutchinson. The Barkmans come to the lake every other weekend to enjoy camping. Osborne primarily comes to fish.
“We used to come for camping, but now he comes for fishing,” Osborne’s mother Irene said.
Osborne’s four-legged partner, Copper, enjoys the fishing excursions even more than Osborne does.
“She likes to attack the fish,” he said. “When I catch them and throw them back in the water, she barks at the water.”
The county lake is his favorite place for largemouth bass.
“It’s got really good fishing here,” Osborne said.
The lake is popular with other anglers as well. Mike Turner, at the lake for a Memorial Day weekend family campout, spent much of his time casting lines from a fishing dock.
Turner and his family said they catch many catfish and wipers at the lake. The fish are cleaned, cooked, and eaten for dinner.
Children in the group like fishing for perch along the shoreline.
The lake’s heated fishing dock accommodates anglers year-round. Children younger than 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
The lake office has a limited supply of tackle available for sale.
Besides camping facilities and permanent trailer lots, the lake offers shelter houses, year-round recreational vehicle hookups, a hall, a disc golf course, a swimming beach, and showers.
One of the two shelter houses has a basketball court, and the other has a horseshoe pit.
Anglers can fish from docks, shoreline, fishing tube floats, or boats. Boats must be inspected for zebra mussels at the lake office before they are put in the water.
Fishing is permitted 24 hours a day. Each person is limited to two rods or poles with no more than two hooks on each. A state permit can be purchased to use a third pole. Bow fishing is permitted. Rods or poles are not to be left more than 100 feet from the fisherman.