Posts Tagged ‘Fishing Tournament’

kids whiteperch 2014 forum version-page-001

Starting to get search engine hits for this again, so I though I would post this years information. This kids tournament is put on by a member of the NEFGA forum and is a great event. Winner of the upper kids division is a lifetime Nebraska Fishing License… definitely worth the FREE entry fee.

See you there!

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So, apparently after you volunteer for one fishing tournament, your name must go on a list that goes out to anyone else looking for volunteers…

This weekend I volunteered to help with the Cornhusker State Games shore fishing tournament at Holmes Lake. If you can’t tell from the picture, I got to walk around and measure fish. Their were medals for the largest catfish, bluegill, and largemouth bass.

At one point, I got down on my knee to measure a fish and sat on my muddy shoe to balance myself. When I stood up, I tired to wipe the mud off my rear end with my hand… which only smeared it. I walked around with a muddy hand print on my butt for most the day.

I jokingly told my co-worker who talked me into helping that I wasn’t there because I was nice… I was there so I could see how everyone else was catching fish, what they were biting on, and where they were biting at. A little undercover reconnaissance… Worms and corn seemed to work the best. Both under a bobber and off the bottom with a split shot or two. I have some ideas for some flies now…

The fish bite was a little slow, but I did get to see a couple nice largemouths; and a 9-10 year old kid caught a nice 24 inch catfish at the very last second to win the catfish division. And he put it back in the lake after a picture. I love seeing big fish go back in the water…

I spent time with the family of the kid who caught the catfish; telling them what I knew about the lake, teaching them a little bit about bluegills, showing them my homemade flies, and helping them to remove hooks from the bluegills they caught.

One of the bluegills that they caught took a hook pretty deep; but I managed to dig it out with my hemostats. Most people just toss these fish back into the water carelessly, but I walked this little guy to the water and gently set him in. He must have been a little bit disorientated because as soon as he hit the water, he swam the wrong way and beached himself on the shore. I waded through the shin deep mud, picked it up, took it back out to the water, and spent a couple minutes reviving the little guy. Eventually he took off under his own power and headed for deep water…

I waded out of the mud and hopelessly tried to clean some of the mud off my shoes and legs. I surrendered to the mud after a few seconds and accepted the fact that it would dry to my skin until I could get home to shower. It didn’t think anything of the whole experience; it’s just want I would consider an expectation of fishing. The mother of the family looked at me said “All of that to save a little bluegill? You really enjoy fishing.”

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Just got done volunteering for a kids fishing tournament. There were about 200 to 250 people out fishing in this tournament. The goal was to catch as many white perch as possible; which are considered an invasive species here in Nebraska. They have overrun a whole bunch of our Salt Valley Lakes around Lincoln. The tournament was a way to take a bite out of their population; and to get kids interested in fishing.

After we got all the kids signed in, I got to help count fish. Seeing how excited the kids were to turn in their fish was a blast. While most little kids are not ready to get started fly fishing, getting them interested in fishing is a great start. I have never helped with a youth fishing event before, but I can see how this is a great experience to keep kids fishing. I want to make sure there are plenty of lakes and streams full of fish for the rest of my life and beyond; passing on the sport is the best way to ensure that there will always be a fishing hole around the corner.

Whats the most important thing about getting kids (or anyone) interested in fishing? Actually catching fish… and white perch are great for that. They are easily caught on a worm and bobber.

Toward the end of the tournament, the kids turned in their catches and won a whole bunch of prizes. As they turned in their fish to be counted, I had a whole crowd of kids lined up to see the bucket of fish. I had several dozen who wanted to touch them and see their fins. I also got to teach a bunch of kids (and a few adults) the differences between white perch, and some drum that had been turned in as well.

Since the fish are invasive, part of the goal was to help get some of these fish out of the lake. What better way to do that then a fish fry? While white perch make for pretty small fillets, they do make some pretty good fish chips.

All told, about 700 white perch were harvested and fried up. A lot of fun and a good way to spend the day. Thanks to Randy and the rest of the Nebraska Fish and Game Association (www.nefga.org) for putting on the tournament and letting me come volunteer!

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