Kids tackle a tournament
A lot of kids who love to fish and were wondering what it would be like to add a little competition to a day on the boat got at least a sampling of that on July 26.
It was a laid-back competition, but Central Marine and Sports and Kruger Farms hosted their first-ever Kids’ Day on the Water with almost 30 kids ages 5-15 able to experience a fishing tournament atmosphere. Seventeen boats were on hand with anglers who volunteered their time to get the kids out on the water on Lake Ida.
Jack Greengo of Central Marine and Sports and Micah Radach of Kruger Farms organized much of the outing, while they also received a donation from Geneva Capital to help pull off the event.“We just wanted to do it for the kids and get them involved and on the water and have that experience fishing with someone who has some experience,” Greengo said. “These guys we lined up, I’d say half were pros who were not from the area that we had come in. A couple big name guys who were here and all in the big new fancy Ranger boats.”
That made for a fun morning for the kids who felt like they were in the spotlight of a real tournament. The day got going with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. and ended with a weigh-in at 11 with a lunch and awards ceremony that followed.
“They were soaking it all in,” Greengo said. “The tournament wasn’t a big competition. I don’t even think the kids cared about that. They just enjoyed being out there.”
Everything from panfish and northerns to walleyes and bass were caught with some nice walleyes and bass being brought to the weigh-in. The fish were graded on a point system based on the weight and species of fish with the top three point-getters earning prizes. There were also prizes for the top four biggest fish of each species.
“They had a great time,” Greengo said. “I took two kids myself and the kid in my boat; he said this is an awesome day and wanted to know if we were doing it again this summer yet. It was a reaction like that from every kid there.”
The kids will have to wait a little longer than that, but Greengo said this first Kids’ Day on the Water definitely won’t be the last as they plan to host even more kids next summer.
TEAM POINT LEADERS – 1. Cory Putnam with Carter Putnam and Jeremiah Martinson; 2. Jon England with Joseph Martinson; 3. Matt Gilbertson with Riley Nyberg and Reise Waldorf
BIGGEST FISH AWARDS – Largest Walleye and Bass team – Co. Putnam with Ca. Putnam and Je. Martinson; Largest Northern team – England and Jo. Martinson; Largest sunfish team – Greengo with Noah Beulke and Lars Dropik