• Last modified 889 days ago (Jan. 6, 2022)


Replaced heated dock proves to be hot spot

Staff writer

The new heated fishing dock at Marion County Park and Lake is receiving raving reviews from fish and fishermen alike.

“I caught 10 catfish off here just the other day,” hobbyist angler Tommy Kinsch said.

Kinsch, from Douglass, near Wichita, has been to the heated dock several times since it opened just before Christmas. On Tuesday, he took his grandsons, Corbin and Carson Kinsch, along to fish for crappie.

A lack of bites didn’t dampen the mood.

“This is nice,” Corbin said. “Most times, when you’re fishing, it can get pretty miserable. You’ll be out in the cold, sniffling. Your line will get cut. You’ll have dropped your phone in the water. But it’s all worth it to catch that one fish.”

The much-delayed dock replaces a smaller one that was destroyed in a storm two years ago. Several fishermen testing the waters Tuesday said they had never been to the original dock but liked the new one.

While it has an exterior deck for anglers to fish from, the dock’s interior fishing hole — sheltered from the wind, fenced by a railing wide enough to poke poles through, and kept toasty with an industrial heater — is more popular.

“I’ve never seen a heated dock like this before,” Corbin said. “At most heated docks, they’ve got a wood-burning stove that everyone crowds around, and you’ve got all the fishing poles sticking out in the same spot. Here, you can spread out.”

The dock had a “soft opening” in early December while it fixed glitches with the heater and moved benches inside.

Park employees say it still needs some work, including installation of signs and a fish cleaning station.

Tommy suggested that the heater lags in turning on, and Corbin suggested adding cup holders, but both said it needed only a little bit of tweaking.

“This is one of the nicest heated docks I’ve ever been to,” Tommy said. “I wish every lake had a place like this.”

Last modified Jan. 6, 2022