CALUMET - Little Slade Keranen, 2 1/2, from Traprock Valley, had a fish on his line Saturday at the Calumet-Keweenaw Sportsmen's Club Kids' Fishing Derby.
"Here we go! Here we go! Here we go!" he said, bouncing up and down until he was reminded that he needed to actually reel the fish in.
The fish was probably one of his first, but the event organizers' hope is that kids like him will go on to many successful catches in their lifetimes.
Slade Keranen, 2 1/2, of Traprock Valley celebrates a fish on his line at the Calumet-Keweenaw Sportsmen’s Club’s Kids’ Fishing Derby Saturday at Swedetown Pond. (DMG photo by Brandon Veale)
Jack Heinonen, 4, of Calumet, shows off his catch. (DMG photo by Brandon Veale)
Isabel Erickson, 4, of Hancock, takes her catch in to be measured and recorded. (DMG photo by Brandon Veale)
"It's nice to get the kids outside at least once to enjoy the fresh air and enjoy the fishing," CKSC secretary Gerald Lamppa said.
More than a hundred youngsters dipped a line in the Swedetown pond. Numbers were down from 2009 largely because of iffy weather, but conditions were still prime for success.
Trevor Mickalich of South Range caught the day's biggest fish, a 9-7/8-inch perch. The next-largest fish caught by a boy was taken by Hayden Kesti at 9-3/4 inches. Valerie Darnell was the most successful fisherwoman, landing a 8-5/8-incher.
Bigger fish and bigger bodies of water may be on the horizon for these anglers, but Saturday's participants clearly caught their limit -of fun.
"Fishing's good here," Mickalich said.