Moms and dads towed their children and fishing poles Saturday down to Spring Creek Park at Arcadia Lake for the annual Kids All-American Fishing Derby.

Leon Mixer, maintenance supervisor for the lake, said the event was coordinated by the Arcadia Lake staff.

The children fished for three hours and were awarded points according to how heavy their fish were. First, second and third places were awarded in a 5- to 10-years-old category and an 11-to 15-years-old category.

Mixer said several of the high school sports coaches come up with their own children and other youth from their neighborhoods every year.

“They’re trying to get those kids who don’t have the opportunity to go fishing,” he said.

The event also gives parents a chance to have some family time with their children.

Hunter Reilley, 13, volunteered his time to help with the youth who didn’t know how to fish. He is an Oklahoma Bass Master State Champion.

“I’ve been fishing ever since I was 2,” Reilley said. “I got involved with tournaments two years ago and I’ve been doing them ever since.”

Mixer said the staff met Reilley one day when he was on the dock fishing with his mom and that is when he volunteered to help with the derby.

Carol Morales brought her three grandchildren to the derby. Israel, 3, and Kairo, 4, said they enjoy the derby because they “get to fish.”

Morales said this is her third year to bring grandchildren to the event.

“It gives them the opportunity to get out in nature,” she said.

She said it also teaches them patience and sportsmanship.

Kyle Kufman took the derby as a chance to get his younger sister, Jenna, started in fishing.

“We used to have fishing derbies in our hometown in California,” Kyle said.

He said his favorite fish to catch is the rainbow trout because that’s what he used to catch in California.

Kyle said the fishing derby gives youth another way to experience new things.

“It educates them about it because if they catch a fish, the parents can tell them about it,” Jenna said.

Andrew Acton, 8, learned how to fish when he was 2 years old during family trips to Lake Eufuala. He said his favorite part of fishing is actually catching the fish.

While the parents watched their children fish, the Lions Club sold refreshments.

Warren Smith, a member of the board of directors, said the club furnished 18 trophies this year for the winners.

“Lions Club has a hand in this since it started,” he said.

Derby results:


Ages 5-10: Justin Baker

Ages 11-15: Andrew Dumcomb

Largest roughfish:

Ages 5-10: Sam Gray, first place; Jarred Blagg, second place; and Denton Huff, third place

Largest sunfish:

Ages 5-10: Kyle Mauk, first place; Sam Gray, second place; and Ellie Drumm, third place

Ages 11-15: Zack Maggard, first place; Devan Wilson, second place; and Trevin Hutchings, third place

Largest crappie:

Ages 5-10: Denton Huff, first place; Sam Gray, second place; and Gabrielle Lee, third place

Largest bass:

Ages 5-10: Randy Gossard, first place; Jacquelynn Tislow, second place; and Isaiah Crawford, third place.

Ages 11-15: Keith Combs, first place; Cody Tucker, second place; and Zack Maggard, third place

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