National Fishing and Boating Week kicks off in a big way on Saturday at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens.

The facility will make a family fishing trip affordable, with free admission being offered for children 12 and under, plus free fishing for the family and free hot dogs and soft drinks.

The event begins at 9 a.m. and will end around 4 p.m.

A tournament for the largest catfish caught from the TFFC casting pool will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The tournament is open to children age 12 an under. The winner must be present to collect the prize a 2 p.m.

In addition to fishing, visitors can walk the wetlands trail; see a diver hand feed fish; learn about the history of fishing in the freshwater fishing museum; shop for a Father’s Day gift in Flat Creek Bait ‘n Goods Gift Shop and watch the alligator feedings at 3:30 p.m.

Nation Fishing Day at TFFC is sponsored by Wal-Mart Supercenter, Ernie Yarborough and Friends of the Freshwater Fisheries Center.

National Fishing and Boating Week comes at the start of the summer vacation season and is designated to encourage families to spend time together on and around water.

Regular admission to the TFFC is $5.50 for adults; $4.50 for seniors and $3.50 for children 4-12.

For more information or directions visit, www.tpwd.state.tx.us/tffc/ or call (903)676-2277.

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