By Travis Miller
June 25, 2014. Beech Mountain Parks and Recreation is hosting its annual Kiddo Fishing Derby on Saturday, June 28 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Lake Coffey. All children ages 12 and under are allowed to participate and admission is free. Rods will be cast at 9 a.m., so arrive early to be registered in time.
There will be both boys and girls tournament divisions and separate trophies will be awarded to participants who catch the first fish, the biggest fish and the most fish. Children under 10 must have adult supervision.
Lake Coffey is stocked every year with trout, so it’s likely that everyone will get a chance to catch a fish. Caught fish may be kept and fish that aren’t kept will be divvied among the other participants.
Also, every child registered for the Derby will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win various fishing prizes.
Available rods and tackle are limited, so children are encouraged to bring their own fishing gear.
Peter Patton of Fred’s General Mercantile has been Master of Ceremonies for the event for the last 15 years.
“We put it together to draw kids to fishing ’cause it’s such a wholesome sport … I kinda got in charge of it because I’ve been fishing all my life — I’m probably the only man on Beech Mountain with a boat,” he said with a laugh.
“I’m always refurbishing rods and reels and giving them to kids. It’s always fun to see them light up.”
The event has been popular and has drawn in a number of enthusiastic young fishers in its many years.
“It started out with 20 or 30 kids and it’s gotten up to 100 now,” said Patton. “A lot of adults get just as excited as the kids do.”
“But it’s all about kids fishing — that’s what it all comes down to. The more kids we can bring fishing, the better it’s gonna be.”
For more information on the Kiddo Fishing Derby, call the Buckeye Recreation Center at 828-387-3003.