Kids can bait a hook for the annual Burrell Lake fishing derby |
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Kids can bait a hook for the annual Burrell Lake fishing derby

Shirley McMarlin
Tribune-Review file
Madden Richardson and his mother Renee Richardson of Plum participate in the 2017 Burrell Lake Park Kids’ Fishing Derby.
Tribune-Review file
(From left) Ellis Thomas, Adam Schematic, Justin Micholas, Elliot Litz and Skyla Mota pose with their prizes at the 2018 Burrell Lake Park Kids’ Fishing Derby.

Someone once said, “Good things come to those who bait.”

That definitely could be the case at Burrell Lake Park on June 8, as kids 15 and younger are invited to bait a hook for the annual Kids’ Fishing Derby.

Registration is 7:30-9 a.m., with free fishing from 9-11 a.m. Every child who is registered receives a prize grab bag and lunch.

All fishing is catch-and-release. Burrell Lake holds bass, bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, flathead catfish, freshwater drum and carp.

Fishing helpers will be on hand to assist the young anglers.

Tri-County Trout Club members measure the fish and the biggest fish by length in each category wins a prize. A grand prize is awarded for the longest fish overall.

Prizes include fishing rods, tackle boxes and other kinds of fishing gear.

Lunch should be available starting around 11 a.m.

Spend time in nature

The Trout Club provides a limited number of nightcrawlers as bait and a limited number of loaner fishing rods for participants who do not have their own rods. Loaner rods and nightcrawlers are available first come, first served.

Participation averages about 100 kids each year, says club president Steve Hegedus. The record crowd was 181 in 2012.

“We have a lot of returning participants and multi-year participants and families, who have come back to fish at the fishing derby for several years,” Hegedus says. “In general, we get a lot of comments that they like having an event that gets the kids outdoors, and encourages them to spend time in nature … and everyone loves the free lunch.

“I would say that probably 90% of the kids who participate have fished before, and some are frequent, or experienced anglers. But we do have a some that are first time or quite new to fishing,” he says. “That is one of the reasons that we provide loaner fishing rods and bait — so that children that haven’t fished before, or maybe only tried it once or twice, can come without needing to buy a fishing rod or other fishing gear.”

Derby sponsors are Tri-County Trout Club, Lower Burrell Parks Commission and Lower Burrell American Legion Post 868, which supplies the lunch.

Details: 412-298-0964 or [email protected]

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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