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2015 Kids Fishing Derby / Cave Run Edition

June 18, 2015
By

By Chris Erwin

For the last three years, I have covered what is arguability the best fishing event for kids around the state of Kentucky. I am referring to the annual Kids Fishing Derby put on each spring at the Minor Clark Fish Hatchery near Cave Run Lake in Morehead. The derby has been going on for nine years, and I can confirm that at least for the last three years it has gotten better each year.

Before I get into the derby, I would like to make a personal comment about the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists. It has been my pleasure to know personally the last three that have been in command of eastern Kentucky: Lew Korman, Fred Howes and Tom Timmermann.

Logan Harrison, of Russell, holds his catch while participating in the Cave Run Kids Fishing Derby. (Photo by Chris Erwin)

Logan Harrison, of Russell, holds his catch while participating in the Cave Run Kids Fishing Derby. (Photo by Chris Erwin)

All of them have been outstanding in their commitment to making Kentucky a better place to hunt, fish and generally improve your chances of success in the field and on the water. I want to express my gratitude for making themselves accessible to the press so that we can better report on our states outdoor news and events. Thank you.

As I drove through the hatchery area on Saturday morning, the place was buzzing with children and family members finding their spot along one of the ponds within the hatchery compound. The smell of food was in the air as volunteers fired up grills and prepared to cook up some grub. An area was set aside for the casting competition.

The many volunteers were setting up the fish cleaning station along with a soft drink station. It wasn’t long until bobbers were bouncing, and kids were yelling as they started dragging fish to the bank.

Volunteers clean the children’s catches on Saturday. (Photo by Chris Erwin)

Volunteers clean the children’s catches on Saturday. (Photo by Chris Erwin)

Catfish, Bluegill, Bass and Trout all were seen flopping on the grass-covered banks as kids hopped up and down with excitement. Everywhere I looked bobbers were disappearing, and rods were bending.

Walking up and down the grassy area between each pond I stopped and talked to kids and their parents, who were all eager to talk to me and to ask when the article would run.

I saw a young man by the name of Logan Harrison from Russell pulling his stringer up on the bank to show them to me, as he struggled to lift them, it was plain the boy was proud of his catch.

As the 11:00 a.m. cut-off became closer, the lines at the cleaning station were getting longer. The volunteers cleaning fish got a heavy workout with long lines of kids and parents taking advantage of the free service.

Tom Timmermann called the casting winners to the official area where they were awarded trophies. It was reported to me that the official numbers for attendance counting registered kids only, hit the 675 mark, which was only slightly under the record of 702 two years ago.

When I started interviewing kids, it was clear that they came from all over the state — some from as far as Louisville, Lexington along with Boyd and Greenup Counties.

The hope is these memories will carry on to the next generation of young sportsman, and they will pass on the rich heritage of the outdoors.

Haleigh Carpertner, of Bath County, had to have a little help to lift her heavy string of fish, which she caught Saturday morning at the derby. (Photo by Chris Erwin)

Haleigh Carpertner, of Bath County, had to have a little help to lift her heavy string of fish, which she caught Saturday morning at the derby. (Photo by Chris Erwin)

A lot of people make this event possible, and I would be lacking not to list all of them, that I could find, who helped out either with manpower or financially. These included: Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources The Northeastern Fishery District, Minor E. Clark Fish Hatchery, Forks of Elkhorn and the 8th District Law Enforcement Officers, the U.S. Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers, Kentucky Bank, Walmart of Morehead, Kentucky Houndsman Association, Northeast Fish and Game Club, Bridgeport Equip Rentals, Frito-Lay, Hiners Bakery, Coca-Cola, Jennings Septic, Morehead Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Mountain Muskie Lodge, Kentucky State Police Post 8, Nickell’s Whitetail Taxidermy, Kentucky Silver Muskie Club, Borders Outdoor Shop, Ole Season’s Shoppe, Cave Run Marina, Graham Slam BBQ, Bob Clyse Chevy/GMC and Shum Shum Baits.

We are looking forward to this event again next year. If you want to get involved, contact Tom Timmerman at Tom.Timmermann@ky.gov

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