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NEW BREMEN — Local anglers brought their rods and reels to the Industrial Park Pond in New Bremen Tuesday night for the annual fishing derby.
The event, organized by the New Bremen Parks Department, drew approximately 70 children for a night of fishing, learning and prizes. Organizer Jerry Fischbach said he hoped the children learned about fishing through participating in the event.
“I just hope that they learn a little bit about fishing so they can carry it on throughout their lives and teach it to their kids,” Fischbach said. “Once you’re hooked on fishing, you can enjoy it for your entire life.”
Participants were divided into three age groups, ages 3 through 6, 7 through 10 and 11 through 15. The three children in each age group that caught the most fish were awarded prizes.
In addition to prizes for winning the derby, children participating had the opportunity to win door prizes given away for a variety of accomplishments, including first fish caught, first to catch three fish, first bass and first crappie among others. Fischbach said the New Bremen Parks Department received feedback that the children enjoyed going to the tent to pick out a prize.
“The kids really like winning the door prizes so this year I made sure we had enough for every kid,” he said, noting that they were able to give away more than 100 door prizes thanks to their sponsors.
A special raffle was also held at the conclusion of derby in honor of Mark Heinfeld. Two rods and reels and three prizes of chamber dollars were given away.
“When Mark passed away, his kids thought it would be a good idea to donate some money to this in honor of their dad,” Fischbach said, noting that Heinfeld was an avid fisherman.
Mia Hirschfeld, 4, was the first to catch three fish and won a Barbie fishing pole for her accomplishment. Her favorite part of fishing is “catching a big one,” she said.
Ally Wackler, 7, was participating in the derby for the first time, but has been fishing in her pond at home. She sported a Spongebob Squarepants fishing pole at the event.
“I like Spongebob,” she said.
Wackler has been learning to fish from her grandfather and said she enjoyed fishing.
“I like catching fishies,” she said.
Dominick Steinke, 8, is a veteran of the fishing derby and also said that his favorite part is catching the fish. He has learned about casting safely after an accident with his dad in his first fishing derby.
“The first time I was in the derby I hooked my dad’s thumb,” he said.
Dominick’s grandfather, Roger Steinke, said he was teaching Dominick about different bass baits and used the event as a learning experience.
“We trying to learn as we go,” Steinke said.
Steinke also noted that he was thankful for opportunities in the area, such as the fishing derby.
“It’s appreciated that the village puts together opportunities like this for the kids,” Steinke said. “The New Bremen Parks Department does a good job at putting together events like this for the kids during the summer.”
The annual New Bremen Fishing Derby was sponsored by the American Legion Post No. 241, FOP Lodge 76, Western Oho True Value Hardware, Mike’s Bait and Tackle at Indian Lake, New Bremen Rod and Gun Club, Spillway Bait and Tackle at Lake Loramie, Wapakoneta Wal-Mart and the New Bremen Parks Department.