Kids reel em in at family fishing dayJun 3, 2012 By Joshua Scheer, Staff Writer
Ninety-five young anglers participated in the annual Kiwanis Hooked On Fishing tournament Saturday.
The derby began early that morning with participants from across Fremont County gathering at the Big Bend Ponds near the 1838 Rendezvous site east of Riverton.
Riverton Kiwanis Club member Sandy Luers said this was the 17th year of the tournament and the first that it had been held at the ponds further toward the back.
"This year we're catching a lot," Luers said.
At the end of the day, she guessed that more than 100 fish had been caught.
At 16.5-inch carp was one of the largest on the record books.
Luers said there was a lot of perch and sunfish caught, along with a decent number of trout.
The tournament was held in conjunction with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department's free fishing day, when no fishing licenses are required.
Luers said Kiwanis makes a point to have its derby on that day so parents can fish as well.
Kylar Bennett, 7, of Riverton, caught a bass for his first of the day. He said the fish hit his line quickly.
"I fish a lot," he said, adding that he hoped to catch "tons" more.
'The worm did it'
Seven-year-old Michelle Cowart caught a sunfish with the help of her grandfather. She said she had been fishing with both a beetle and a worm.
"I think the worm did it," she said.
Having been at the pond since about 8 a.m., 13-year-old Alex Mills of Pavillion had caught five trout by 11 a.m.
He said all had been caught through the use of a blue and silver, spoon-shaped lure.
"I'd have about 13 right now if it weren't for the hook," Mills said.
He said his largest catch of the day so far was nearly 10 inches long.
Seven-year-old Tracy McNeal was hanging out with Mills and others but wasn't fishing.
"I have been catching the baby crawdads," she said.
She was wasn't the only one seeking out the shellfish.
"I'm the crawdad king," said Zach Tingle, 10.
He said he had caught four crawfish that morning, all around 3.5-inches long. One was a mother, he said, because she had eggs on her tail.
"I let it free," he said.
The tournament closed fishing entries at 1 p.m.
Luers said the top three winners in each category received prizes. First place earned a tackle box with what she believed to be more than $50 worth of gear.
The top three in the 1- to 4-year-old range were (in order): Tyanne Cooper, Anika Stanley and Marshal Walton.
Kylar Bennett, Decklin Bush and Patrick Dornblazer earned the top spots in the 5- to 7-year-olds.
Eight- and 9-year-old winners were Racheal Cowart, Joel Vroman and Shawn Raymond.
And Kevin Schmidt, Thomas Beasley and Karsyn McOmie were the winners in the 10 and older range.
Each participant was given a goody bag with lures, literature and candy.
Game & Fish people were on hand to help provide rods and reels to those who needed them as well as to help untangle major messes.