CALUMET - The Calumet-Keweenaw Sportsmen's Club is hosting its seventh annual Kids Fishing Derby at Swedetown Pond in Calumet Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Keweenaw youngsters, area visitors and vacationers are invited to enjoy a day of fishing, food and fun. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Previous summer events have lured 100-150 kids, most of whom catch fish; bluegill, bullhead, perch, crappie and other panfish, plus occasional frogs and turtles, win prizes and take home goodie bags, thanks to the generous support of local merchants. The Club and Calumet Township plants the pond annually with hybrid bluegills that keep it a fun fishery for kids long after the derby is over.
Abbey Koskiniemi, 11, of Calumet, reeled in a bluegill smaller than her bobber. (Jim Junttila photo)
"It became quite the kid magnet from the get-go," said Derby organizer Jim Junttila, about the first CKSC event seven years ago. "We've grown every summer since then, becoming as popular an attraction with grandparents and parents as it is with kids."
Rods and reels are available on site, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own. Free bait will be provided. CKSC graciously accepts all rod and reel donations, new or used, including yard sale specials that we can fix up and re-use, call Derby chairman Jerry Lamppa at 337-1455 or emial firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We're pleased to partner with the Calumet-Keweenaw Sportsmen to hold this important youth event," said Paul Lehto, Calumet Township Supervisor. "Besides being a wonderful learning experience for kids, the derby is an excellent family activity for the community.
"Kids learn about fish and fisheries conservation and have a fun time doing it."
In addition to fishing, games and casting contests, all kids receive a free picnic lunch and refreshments. Club members and volunteers herd kids through a fun fishing experience, teaching casting, knot tying, baiting hooks, unsnagging snags, weighing and measuring, and fish identification.
"No kid goes home empty-handed and all participants are welcome to keep their fish," said Lamppa. "It's a fun opportunity to learn new angling skills."
The Calumet-Keweenaw Sportsmen's Club has a strong commitment to the community's youth and is proud to host this popular day of fishing for kids and their families. "You never know when taking a kid fishing will catch on and become a lifetime hobby," Lamppa added. For a free CKSC newsletter or membership information, call Mike Dudenas, 337-0347, or visit keweenawsportsmen.org.