Children Reel in Big Fun at University Park Fishing Derby
There aren’t many places where you can hold a fishing rod in one hand and a hot dog in the other while jamming to “Gangnam Style.” But this year’s Children’s Fishing Derby was one of them.
Caruth Park was filled to capacity on Saturday as parents enjoyed the weather and their kids experienced the thrill of catching anything from a bite-sized fish to a 2-foot catfish.
“It’s an excellent opportunity for kids in an urban environment to do some fishing,” University Park parks director Gerry Bradley said.
Kids received prizes by the hour for the largest and smallest catches. Dilan Parmer, 14, earned a trophy and a small fishing rod for his 3-inch catch during the 10 o’clock hour. The defending champion — he also won the award for smallest catch last year — doubled down during the next hour, catching a 3.5-inch fish that flopped out of in his gloved hand as he carried it to the measurement tent.
Dilan said he was going to keep fishing until the end, because he left early last year and missed out on his award.
“Last year I left before they could give it to me,” he said. But he was in luck this year, as his hardware was quickly piling up by where his family was hanging out.
Kate Goodman had one of the largest catches of the morning. Her 24-inch catfish was the envy of the competitors and adults alike.
“The fish was almost as big as she was,” emcee Bill Cody said as Goodman threw the fish on the measuring table.
Aside from the fishing, the event was one big neighborhood party. The Community Trust Bank handed out candy, Highland Park High School students volunteered as judges, the Park Department served up more than 500 hot dogs, and children hula-hooped with parents near the DJ booth.