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Archive for Saturday, August 16, 2008

Families bond during fishing derby

Eight-year-old Elisa Jalenak, Lawrence, gets excited as her recently caught fish begins to flop around on the hook during a day of free fishing for kids Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008 around Lake Henry at Clinton Lake State Park. Prizes were awarded for both the largest and smallest fish.

Eight-year-old Elisa Jalenak, Lawrence, gets excited as her recently caught fish begins to flop around on the hook during a day of free fishing for kids Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008 around Lake Henry at Clinton Lake State Park. Prizes were awarded for both the largest and smallest fish.

August 16, 2008

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A contender for the smallest fish caught is measured by staff members at Clinton State Park. Within the first 15 minutes of the annual O-K Kids Day, presented by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, participants had brought in six fish.

A contender for the smallest fish caught is measured by staff members at Clinton State Park. Within the first 15 minutes of the annual O-K Kids Day, presented by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, participants had brought in six fish.

On the street

Do you know how to fish?

Yes, I know how to fly fish. I started about a year ago and go fishing for bluegill and sunfish out at Lone Star. I just got back from fishing on the Current River in Missouri, but I didn’t catch anything.

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Terry Frencher pinched off an end of a worm and leaned in toward his son, instructing him on how to thread the fish hook through the worm's body.

"See how pretty that is," said Frencher, of Blue Springs, Mo. "That bluegill will love that."

A fishing derby at Clinton State Park's Lake Henry was a prime setting for family bonding Saturday.

About 50 parents and children participated in the annual O-K Kids Day, presented by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

"We're getting 'em interested in fishing and in getting outdoors, and that's what it's all about," said Sherri Withers, administrative specialist at the park.

Moms and dads stood along the shore, watching over their young ones as they cast their lines into the 3-acre pond.

Lake Henry is a secluded, dammed-off part of Clinton Lake used primarily during trout season, Withers said. The lake also holds such fish as bluegill, crappie and bass.

While many of the young people participating Saturday said they knew how to use a fishing pole, many also reported that the fish they caught were their first catches ever.

"It's exciting," 6-year-old Hannah Saldan, Lawrence, said after catching her first fish.

Within the derby's first 15 minutes, participants had brought in six fish - a good sign, according to Withers.

One by one, each child carried the fresh catch to a stand on the lake's shore and held its flopping body as Withers measured the fish's length.

Participants won prizes for such contests as shortest fish caught and longest fish caught.

Seven-year-old Kindred Curry of Lawrence had already brought in two fish Saturday morning, but still had bigger goals. He held out his hands more than a foot apart.

"I want to catch a big bluegill like that big," he said enthusiastically before heading back to the shore, his father in tow.

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