This year, generations of anglers have bigger fish to fry.

This year, generations of anglers have bigger fish to fry.

Lyle Starr with the McPherson Public Lands and Facilities department has planned the 10th Annual McPherson Community Youth Fishing Derby for the past 10 years. This year, participants are in for a treat.

“I hope the kids hold on to their poles. There were some pretty big fish going in when we stocked it,” Starr said. “I thought we’d have some smaller ones, but I think they grew faster than we thought they would. There’s a lot of fish and a lot of big fish.”

The derby is this Saturday at Lakeside Park in McPherson. To celebrate 10 years of fishing, festivities will include free hot dogs, free sno cones from Hopp’s Sno Shack, and a free showing of “The Good Dinosaur” at dusk, sponsored by the McPherson Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“Since it’s the 10th anniversary, we want to add to it each year and make it a big event because we want families to come out and enjoy our park and know what we have to offer,” Starr said. “It’s the last weekend before school, so it’ll be fun to have a family outing. And the weather should be in the mid-80s, so that’s a plus.”

Participants ages 15 and younger can participate in three age groups. Registration is from 3 to 4:30 p.m. across from the McPherson Waterpark, with the rules meeting held at 4:35 p.m., and fishing is open from 5 to 7 p.m. Awards will be given at 7 p.m. Prizes, such as a bicycle donated by CHS, will be awarded to the top three in each age group and participants must be present to win. Each participant will receive a gift bag and the chance to win one of several door prizes.

For Starr, the fishing derby has always meant fun in the community with family members.

“They had the fishing derby when I was a boy and I won a tackle box. I always remembered that,” Starr said. “When my kids were growing up, it went by the wayside. I wanted to bring it back to the community, so that’s why we started it up 10 years ago.”

Starr explained that stories like his continue to draw generations of participants to the derby.

“We stock the pond with funds through the Culver Foundation. It was set up by Gene Culver, who wanted to pay to have the pond stocked yearly out of the trust,” Starr explained. “I get stopped all the time by people wanting to know when the derby is because they love it, and I wonder how many parents bringing their kids to the derby fished in the derby as a kid 10 years a go.”

The first 150 participated to sign up will receive a tackle package. Prizes will be awarded for the biggest fish caught, the longest fish, first fish caught, and most inches of fish in all age groups for participants in first, second and third place.

For the older fishing crowd, the second annual Ranch House Fishing Tournament runs Friday through Sunday in Marquette this week.

An informational meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at the Ranch House, 109 N. Washington St, Marquette.

Teams of two can register in the three categories: flathead, catfish and bullfrogs, which all must be caught in either the Smoky Hill River or at Kanopolis Lake. Cost is $25 per team, per category, or $50 per team for all three categories. Cash prizes will be awarded for the first and second place in each category.

Other events include a hog roast beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday, live music from Hellcreek Bridge Band on Saturday night at 8 p.m., and breakfast Sunday morning before final weighings and awards.