JACKSON TWP.  Despite the dreary weather on May 4, kids and families from around the area continued to pull in the fish all morning at Jackson Parks annual Fishing Derby.

The annual derby is for teens and kids aged 15 years old and under. It’s become a local tradition for families to gather around the pond in Jackson’s North Park starting early in the morning to watch their kids cast their lines until 11 a.m. More than 122 kids attended with their parents this year.

The pond gets stocked especially for the event with bass, bluegill, perch, trout and catfish. The kids were catching fish all morning, many winning prices for their hard work and efforts.

“We all had a lot of fun this year and the youth learned  some good fishing skills,” Park Supervisor David Ruwadi wrote. “The look on some of the children’s faces when they caught their first fish makes it all worth it.”

There were numerous prizes given out throughout the morning including new bikes for the biggest fish caught by a girl and by a boy. Pamela Anderson and Evan Shanower both won bikes this year for the over 15-inch trout they each caught.  

Roy Dria and his wife Aimee (both are teachers at Jackson Local Schools) and two boys, Tommy and Lucas, were there with their friends Maela and Blaine Harp (their mother also teaches at Jackson Local Schools). Tommy won a fishing pole for his casting abilities.

“All of our kids are experienced in fishing, Tommy won a new fishing pole for accuracy with his casting,” Roy said.

Sponsors this year included Jackson Township, Jackson Township Police Department, Fin Feather & Fur Outfitters, Kames Sports, We’re all Downstream, Berkley Fishing Team and Walmart.