By Shane Merrill | Sports
It was near perfect weather for the 12th annual Parker youth fishing derby, which took place last Saturday, August 14 at the Parker baseball fields. Youngsters signed up at noon with just over 20 kids participating after taking 2020 off due to covid and moving the date back due to the ongoing drought. The derby has grown by leaps and bounds since it was brought to life 12 years ago, having 12 participants the first year. Many changes have taken place over the years, and the 2021 version was no different, with newer and better prizes awarded.
All participants met at the baseball fields for a quick rules meeting at noon, and after a quick talk it was off to the river as each youngster tried to take top honors. Prizes were then awarded for biggest catfish, carp, bullhead, and walleye, as well as winners of each age division, and overall champion with biggest fish caught. One of the many highlights was a nearly six pound drum weighed in by Lincoln Deelstra as well as several big catfish weighed in by Colin Robertson.
Kids buckets were impressive all afternoon, especially given the low water, but in the end it was clear who the winners would be. In the 3-8 age division Tenley Johnson took home first with 3.55 pounds with his biggest being a 2.15 pound carp, while Emerick Wall was second with 3.40 pounds and Abagail Johnson was third with 2.40 pounds. In the 9-11 age group Lincoln Deelstra was first with 18.65 pounds with his biggest being a six pound catfish, while Chase Miller was second with 10.20 pounds, and Levi Rand third with 4.75 pounds. In the oldest division Colin Robertson was first 6.05 pounds followed by Benson Jones with 2.85 a pound bucket and in third was Avery Hangman with 1.90 pounds.
Numerous other prizes were then awarded to all age groups by drawings. After the winners were announced the Clairen Hogg memorial traveling trophy was presented to overall winner, Lincoln Deelstra. The trophy was purchased in 2013 in memory of Clairen, father of Bob Hogg who farms north of Parker after the Hogg family donated to the derby.
Event organizers Bob Fansin, Jay Sanner, Shane Merrill, Gary Hanten, Jim Kasten and Paul Harms would like to thank all the kids that came out again this year.
“We would like to thank the kids that came out for the afternoon as well as the businesses that donated to make this day successful,” said the organizers.
Plans are already underway for next years derby.