Hooked on Kids Fishing Derby lives up to its title


A young angler hauls in a lunker to the cove dock.

“About that long,” 12-year-old Diego Ramirez estimates of the trout he caught at Hooked on Kids Fishing Derby in Bridgeport on Saturday, June 10. As he gets older and more experienced, Ramirez will learn that the standard acceptable guesstimate among anglers is two to three times actual size.

Kloe West shows proof the small ones count, too. West won the prize for catching the tiniest trout.
BRIDGEPORT – A visit waterside to Bridgeport’s annual fishing derby at Marina Park on Saturday, June 10, offered ample audible and visible evidence to justify the title “Hooked on Kids” that its originator, Neil Jacobson, hung on the event years ago. Shrieks and shouts from kids and their adult chaperones alike bore witness to who was catching what and where around the perimeter of Marina Cove.

BRIDGEPORT – A visit waterside to Bridgeport’s annual fishing derby at Marina Park on Saturday, June 10, offered ample audible and visible evidence to justify the title “Hooked on Kids” that its originator, Neil Jacobson, hung on the event years ago.
Shrieks and shouts from kids and their adult chaperones alike bore witness to who was catching what and where around the perimeter of Marina Cove.
From the little dock floating on the cove, Tamara Dezellem was coaching eight-year-old great nephew, Colton Dezellem as they watched trout tease at the youngster’s baited hook.
Sitting on the bank and baiting his hook, 12-year-old Diego Ramirez held up his index fingers to illustrate the approximate 10-inch size of the trout he caught. Ramirez is still young by angling standards and experience will teach him that catch size estimates among veteran fishermen allow inflation at two to three times actual length.
However, Ramirez did well enough to win a $50 Walmart gift certificate for his angling skill.
More than two dozen of the 400 trout provided by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) wore special tags that identified them as coveted prize winners.
Heriberto Lorenano and Brandon Sebashan each won a grand prize bike.
Alexander Vazquez and Abelaida Casillas netted $25 Walmart gift certificates.
Everyone left with a free fishing rod courtesy of the Cabela’s store of Post Falls. Other prizes included hats, shirts and fishing gear.
The derby started at 9 a.m. and weather conditions were ideal until a hail storm blew in at 1 p.m. from the southeast and drove everyone off the water, Bridgeport Mayor, Janet Conklin said.
“We returned at 4 p.m.to award the prizes,” Conklin said.
The inclement afternoon weather kept some of the later arrivals from Mansfield’s Playday festivities from catching the end of the derby. Conklin estimated attendance at around 50 people.
The mayor had a special shout-out for Jennifer Stahl, Cabela’s representative, and for the World’s Foremost Outfitter’s third year of derby participation.
Other donors included WDFW for the trout, and cash contributions from Bill Walker of the Chief Joseph Tavern, North Cascades Bank, Sweet T’s Man Cave in Brewster, and Coulee Dam Federal Credit Union.
The derby had lots of help from volunteers Bob Fischer, Dan Peterson, Fidra Lake, Phil Lee, Martin Landin, Ciprianna Montes, Pat Pringle, Chris Pringle, Keleigh Pringle, Kelsey Pringle-Giroux, Sergio Orozco, and Ed and Janet Conklin.

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