The annual Kids Free Fishing Derby, sponsored by the Sand Springs Parks and Recreation Department and American Legion Post 17, will cast off on the shores of Sand Springs Lake Park on Saturday, June 11 from 7:30 to11 a.m.
The park is located at the intersection of Park Road and North Lake Drive. This fun contest is open to children ages 3-14 accompanied by an adult parent or guardian.
Parents are encouraged to pre-register their children by picking up registration forms at the Case Community Center, 1050 W. Wekiwa Rd.; Sand Springs Wal-Mart’s sporting goods department, 220 S. Highway 97; or at Woody’s Bait and Tackle, 209th West Avenue and the Sand Springs Expressway. The registration form will include a liability release and photo release.
Registration on the day of the event begins at 7:30 a.m.; with fishing action set to begin at 8 a.m. Prizes will be awarded for 1st through 3rd place in each age group following the 11 a.m. weigh-in deadline. Age groups are 3-5 years, 6-8 years, 9-11 years and 12-14 years. Participants must catch (hook) and land the fish with no help from adults.
Judges will call for participants to weigh-in and present their biggest fish, smallest fish and biggest turtle during the 11 a.m. weigh-in deadline. The deadline could be changed if needed due to weather or other important factors.
Those wanting to try their casting accuracy should enter the casting contest on land. Casting for ages 3-8 will take place at 9 a.m. The casting contest for ages 9-14 will begin at 10 a.m. The contest will be in the grassy area adjacent to the registration pavilion.
Participants will also have the chance to win prizes simply by attending the derby.
Those who want to fish should bring their own fishing pole, line, hooks and lures. Woody’s Bait and Tackle will be providing worms and minnows.
This is the third year that American Legion Post 17 volunteers have helped host the event for the Parks Department. Legion Post volunteer Bob McFarland says it’s all about the kids.
“We are so pleased to help these youngsters get a taste of fishing through this event. For some kids who may be fishing with their mom, dad or grandparent, it’s more than just a fun, family oriented activity. It’s a place where memories are made,” said McFarland.
Woody’s Bait and Tackle and Walmart help support the event. Also, Ducks Unlimited volunteers will be on-hand to identify and release turtles caught throughout the day.
For the Parks Department, the Free Fishing Derby demonstrates community involvement at a very high level.
“We simply could not pull off this event without the great help of organizations like the American Legion Post 17,” said Parks Director Grant Gerondale. “We help supply much of the materials and funds to facilitate this event, but they are truly the ones who make it happen. What you’ll see on this day is evidence of an organization that fully embraces our community by helping kids in this way.”