Riley James loves fishing so much she kissed a fish on Saturday, June 29 at South Lake.

The Pleasant Day 4-H Club, of Marion County, hosted the fifth annual Kids Fishing Derby on June 29 at South Lake. Each of the children were divided in three age divisions and competed for biggest, smallest and most fish awards in their division.


Kaleb Gosney shows off  his catch.

Promptly at 9 a.m., the derby started as the children began to exercise their fishing skills along with the adult accompanying them. Prior to the start, the young anglers checked in upon arrival and received a goody bag. As the contest was underway fish were reeled in of different sizes as each competed to win a trophy in the derby. There was excitement on the children’s faces as they made memories casting and baiting their poles. One family, the Lewis’, caught a snake by accident in their fish basket, as the water snake tried to have their days catch for lunch.


Fire Chief Rich Enochs helps Jhett Lewis remove a snake from his fish basket.

Around 11 a.m. the fishing concluded for the awards to be presented. The Monroe City Park Board provided a meal served by the Monroe City Volunteer Fire Department (MCFD). The MCFD provided a generator and helped transport 4-H members around the lake to measure fish. There were door prizes handed out to each participant. Local businesses and community members donated to help provide door prizes and make this event a success for the youth.


Taylor Gottman watches as her mom, Lennie baits the hook with a worm.

The trophies for the fishing awards were donated by the City of Monroe City. In the six and under age group the biggest fish award was reeled in by Vera Lewis, the smallest fish award was caught by Addison St. Clair and the most fish caught award went to Ryliee James. For the seven – 10-year-old division the biggest fish was wrestled to the bank by Jhett Lewis for the award, the smallest fish taking the bait of fisherman Kaleb Gosney and Landon Jones caught a mess of fish giving him the most fish caught trophy award. The 11 – 14-year-old division award winner for the biggest fish award was presented to Tegan Roberts. As the trophies were handed out, the families in attendance enjoyed a barbeque hot dog meal, cooked by the Monroe City Fire Chief Rich Enochs and 4-H parents. The food and trophies were donated by the City of Monroe City.


Jett Lewis fishing from a rock.

In 4H, the organization believes in the power of young people. 4-H sees that every child has valuable strengths and real influence to improve the world around us. It is America’s largest youth development organization and empowers nearly six million young people across the U.S. with the skills to lead for a lifetime.

4H’s reach and depth is nationwide. Through 4-H’s community of 100 public universities, 4H reaches kids in every corner of America, from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities. The network of 500,000 volunteers and 3,500 4H professionals provides caring and supportive mentoring to all 6 million 4H’ers, helping them grow into true leaders today and in life. For more information on the 4-H organization or joining visit online at 4-h.org.


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