The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office kicked off TWRA Free Fishing Day with a splash this year. HCSO used the day as a way to have some fun and help the community connect with their deputies by hosting the first annual Fishing With a Deputy Event.

"This is one of those positive events that allows us to interact with the kids and the families of our community,” HCSO Public Relations Manager Matt Lea said, “Let them know who their deputy is, and let them get to know them."

Kids who braved the rain got to take home a reel of their own, and get some tips from pro fisherman, Buddy Gross.

The Sheriff’s Office also partnered with several community groups to get as many kids involved as they could. The YCPA of Chattanooga brought several kids from their program, and the Signal Center and their staff brought about 25 kids with special needs, including many who had never fished before.

All told, about 150 kids got to spend the day at the lake, fishing and meeting deputies.

“We're very pleased with that,” Lea said. “We were hoping for more, but with the weather obviously it’s going to keep some folks from coming out, but it just shows us we have some very serious young fishermen in the community."