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Kids Fishing Derby Ideas

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am running a fishing derby for my cub scout pack next month. I have done it before, but i have never been thrilled with the format, so I am looking to you guys for some ideas on how to make it better.

We hold the derby for about 30 kids (+/-) at a local park pond that is full of sunnies and holds a few LMB, crappie and catfish. In the past we have had awards for the most fish, the biggest individual fish and the smallest fish. It's usually an hour fishing followed by burgers/dogs and awards.

We have tried scoring a couple different ways. We have used the honors system where each kid filled out a note card with what he caught and how big it was. That sorta worked, but not so well.

Last year was probably the best to date....we had 6 derby officials who carried a ruler and a pen. Each kid got a note card, and when he caught a fish the nearest official would come over, measure it, and make a notation on the scout's card. It worked okay, but there was a lot of crazy running around.

Anybody have any ideas on how I can make this event better???

Alan
post #2 of 11
That sounds like a great idea. The only thing I can think of is just to add more derby officials. Maybe you could get some parents to volunteer?

Maybe have a raffle/giveaway something... Could be anything from a few lures, to a rod/reel combo.

Maybe have species categories? Like biggest LMB, biggest crappie, and biggest catfish?

Hope I helped,
-Tommy
post #3 of 11
see if there is a local bait shop that can host the event and maybe give some stuff away..
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryC View Post
see if there is a local bait shop that can host the event and maybe give some stuff away..


To expand on that a little bit they could setup a small table with a few basic lures/worms/shiners and some rod/reel combos. They would be getting business and publicity.
post #5 of 11
We have been doing this for a while. Here are a few things I noticed that worked well.

1) Get local tackle shops to donate tackle. If you talk to a few you should do well. They often donate things you would use for prizes like small tackle boxes, lures and a few of the cheaper combo sets. Try for bait as well.

2) Give every kid a bucket. This is a must. Home Depot will often donate the use of clean, empty 5 gal. buckets. If you give every kid a bucket they can keep caught fish alive until an official can come over and score it. Fish are released once scored. The benefits to the fish are obvious and it’s much easer on the guys that volunteer to officiate as these things most often turn into a sunfish blitz. Home Depot will most likely want the buckets back in good, clean condition.

3) Prizes by age group are important. Biggest fish and most fish for each age group you have. It’s ok to combine ages to minimize the number of groups. Biggest fish is usually reserved for anything other then a sunny. Sunnies are not weighed or measured only counted for most fish category.

4) Each official gets a section. He has a clip board with different color sheets of paper with all the kids names on them. A different color sheet for each age group. Kid gets a sunny, it counts as one fish. Kid gets a bass, note the weigh and or length.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Excellent ideas, thank you all .

Alan
post #7 of 11
FYI...Kids under 16 can fish for trout for free. The trout stocking runs until Memorial day weekend, so hitting a stocked pond/lake in your area can greatly increase your chances for catching some fish.
post #8 of 11
How about photos of every kid with his fish on the parents digital camera printed on an award type paper. Lots of clapping helps along with making a huge deal of each fish... I teach the Boy Scout Merit Badge, and Kudos to you.. too !!
post #9 of 11
my sportsman club had a pond that they stocked with trout for a kids fishing derby. They used to have several members walking around handing out prizes. A silver dollar for the first fish caught, a spin fishing combo rig for the next fish caught, a dollar for the next fish caught and so on. We would stock the pond that morning so the kids could see the fish going in and even help to stock them. We also would have hot dogs and burgers, chips and sodas for the kids all morning. Usually 4 hours of fishing or so. Lots of prizes for the kids and the members tried to make sure that all the kids got something. It was great. My kids fished in these derbies from 3 years old through 12 years old and loved every minute. So did I after seeing the smiles on all the kids including my own.
post #10 of 11

Hi,

 

I'm running a trout fishing derby at my Rod & Gun club in April and also have similar questions. We had 80 kids last year and used s manual process for registration and determining winners in each catagorey for trophies. If anyone has suggestions how to automate this process please let me know.

post #11 of 11
You have a number of great suggestions in this thread. From personal experience the photo of each kid with a fish is really well received. The derbies I helped with had local fishing retail sponsors donate an inexpensive outfits and bait for all the participants and the State stocked and closed the pond specifically for the derby. In these derbies every kid won and it was very egalitarian because some of the kids needed extra help due to their disabilites. One adult for each kid also seemed to be key and that meant lots of parents and lots of sponsors to make sure everyone was kept safe, was successful, and had a good time. Individual tackle boxes with snacks, sunscreen, toys, cheap sun glasses, bobbers, and no hooks were also essential. From past experience giving young kids lose hooks or lures with hooks is not a good idea. Keep the hooks on the end of the line and at the end of a pole with lots of supervision. Have the adults unhook the fish and make a big deal out of each and every catch. Everybody won in these tournaments even if they needed a little extra help. Besides being one of the sponsors and helping the participants one of my jobs was to pre-chum the fishing areas with wax worms, maggots, and regular worms. That way the fish were primed and ready to bite just as the tournament started. It is a truly rewarding experience for the kids, the parents, and sponsors. We did catch and release and talked about protecting the resource for the future. Some of the kids with dissabilities described it as the best experience they had ever had. We did this event for a number of years and many kids brought their photos from the previous year's derby to share with their fellow participants. Each photo was marked with the participant's name and the time and date of the catch.
Edited by Jay Blair - 2/12/13 at 5:34pm
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