Large crowd for fishing derby

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Over 50 youth participated in the “Get Outdoors” Youth Fishing Derby this past Saturday, June 10, next to the USDA Service Center on the Highway 55 bypass south of Andalusia.  The free annual event was open to youth ages 3 to 15.

The biggest fish, a 5-pound, 13-ounce catfish, was caught by Brennon Caine, age 5.  The second biggest fish was a 4-pound, 3-ounce catfish caught by Mckenzie Barrow, age 5. Kiley Caine, age 6, brought in the biggest stringer with 35 fish.  The second biggest stringer was caught by Star Decker, age 7, who landed 25 catfish.

First place winners in the casting contest were Sanowa Barefoot for 3-5 year-olds, Darious Bedgood for 11-15 year olds, and JaQuaylin Bedgood, Star Decker, and Caleb Ryley, who all hit their mark to earn a three-way tie for 6-10 year-olds.   Second place winners were: Cammie Caine (ages 3-5), Henry Erwin (ages 6-10), and Reagan Johnson (ages 11-15).

“This was one of the best fishing derbies we’ve had in terms of numbers of fish caught and prizes given away,” said Daks Kennedy, event organizer for the USDA Forest Service.  “This event is a fun time and great opportunity for parents to get their kids outdoors enjoying nature.   We hope this event motivates families to spend more time together fishing.“

“The fish were biting,” said Forest Service employee Chantz Birch.  “Almost every kid caught a fish and took home a prize.”   

The Kiwanis Club of Andalusia served free hamburgers and hotdogs.  Fish for the event were stocked by the USDA Forest Service, Conecuh National Forest.  The local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation provided prizes and signed up youths to receive a free subscription to Jakes magazine.  Assistance and prizes were also provided by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and Southeast Experience.