The Marianna Outdoorsmen Association lucked out on the second try. After one rain cancellation, the Kids Fishing Derby went off as rescheduled on May 11. They got a partly sunny Saturday in the high 50’s sandwiched in between two rainy days. Lucky.
Our dog, Frodo, & I got there ca 11 AM. He just loves to mingle & I’d hate to have him miss out.
The MOA owns several acres along both banks of Daniels Run in Marianna and It was clear that the volunteers of the MOA had done a lot of work at the site since their first derby there last Fall. A lot more space had been cleared of brush & debris and smoothed for parking, fishing access, tables & food prep. A section of bank had even been reserved for kids & families with some tables & chairs stream side.
To help make this derby a success, the Marianna Outdoorsmen Association had stocked $3100 worth of trout, the majority over 18″, in their section of Daniels Run. By the time we arrived, 5 trout in the 22″-23″ size had already been registered on the leaderboard. WOW !
Free food & drinks were available for the children. In addition, prizes, including Ugly Stick rod & reel sets, tackle boxes, rods, & lures would be awarded to the kids. The MOA would even pay to have the largest fish caught in each of the 3 (childrens ) age categories mounted for display.
The best thing about the leaderboard concept was that fish caught were immediately compared, by the angler ( mostly by their parents ), to the largest fish posted. If the fish was not bigger than the largest already posted, it was returned to the water in every case I saw. So, beautiful fish like this one were quickly released for someone else to catch on another day. Commendable sportsmanship.
But probably even more important than that sportsmanship was that family groups, including Moms, Dads, Children, & Grandparents were out there together. The children were having fun & learning about the outdoors and the parents & grandparents were experiencing some of that joy also.
This looked like a very successful morning for the kids and the adults were already arriving for their derby, starting at 2 PM, when we were preparing to leave.
Let’s give some recognition to the Marianna Outdoorsmen Association members, volunteers & community supporters for their commitment to their communities and the fine programs they organize.
See you next time.