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Young Angler with Special Needs Lands Best Fish Photo Contest

A seven-year-old girl won the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association Best Fish Photo Contest.

Blakely Sweatt caught crappie fishing with her grandparents, Danny and Donna Waters, at Lake Eufaula in Barbour County. Danny Waters submitted the photo of his granddaughter.

The Waters have a fishing camp on Lake Eufaula and spend many weekends in the Black Belt with their four grandchildren.

“There is nothing better than being outdoors with family,” Danny Waters said.

“These grandchildren are the light of our lives, and we love experiencing the bountiful beauty of nature with them whenever we can. Blakely does not allow her special needs to slow her down, she is active and passionate about life, and we were all thrilled when she won the contest.”

For winning the contest, Sweatt gets half-day guided fishing trip on Lake Eufaula led by local expert Tony Adams of ‘Gone Fishing with Tony’ as well as a package of lures and hooks donated by Tru-Turn and Blakemore. The total value of the package is $350.

The Black Belt includes the following counties: Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa and Wilcox.

ABBAA  Director Pam Swanner said in a release that the youth and fishing always make a winning combination.

“We love seeing families and youngsters enjoying the vast recreational opportunities available within the Black Belt, especially during these times,” Swanner said.

“Spending time in the great outdoors is so important, and the Black Belt is the perfect place to encourage a love and appreciation for nature. ALBBAA thanks all of the contestants who entered photos this year and is pleased to honor Blakely for her fish.”

Selma fisherman Rickie Knight won the contest last year fishing on the Chilatchee Creek last July. Knight caught a big bass with one of his grandsons, Gauge Knight. His wife, Carol, was also on the trip that took place in July.

Knight has worked over 25 years at International Paper Riverdale Mill.