Jessica Jensen | Managing Editor
Each year the Kiwanis Clubs of Lyon County sponsor a fishing derby at Lake Pahoja during free fishing weekend in Iowa. During this year’s contest Saturday, June 2, 42 youth registered to participate.
The Kiwanis Clubs give away prizes for the longest fish, most fish caught and to casting contest winners. This year, Jackson Blankespoor caught the biggest fish, coming in at 12-1/2 inches. Blankespoor received a fishing pole for his efforts. Two youngsters tied for the most fish caught at six each: Kailee Pourier and Ariea Floyd. The casting contest is broken into age divisions and the first- and second-place winners in each category win a rod and reel. In the 4- to 7-year-old category, Locke Heyden won first place and Roman Blankespoor was second. In the 8- to 11-year-old category, Aubree Boender was first and Gavin Kurtz was second. In the 12- to 16-year-old category, Trent Hoogendoorn was first and Grant Hoogendoorn was second.
For the organizers, sponsoring the event is a great way to introduce youth to fishing. “Fishing is a wonderful sport for teaching patience and discipline and it helps kids learn about the outdoors,” said Norm Rentschler of the Inwood Kiwanis Club. “I have a friend who always said, ‘You’ll always remember a day of fishing over a day of work.’ When I talk to people who really like fishing, they always talk about how fun it is and talk about different stories, and so I think it’s a great thing for kids to learn.”