The 13th annual Banks Lake Youth Fishing Derby held May 11 drew 150 children from ages 3 to 15 who competed for trophies while learning how to fish. Of course, their parents and grandparents tagged along, and by the 8 a.m. start time Flatlander’s Lake in Lakeland was ringed with eager young fishermen and their families.
Children with baskets crawling with crickets, or plastic cartons filled with worms, were taught how to bait the hook and cast the line.
It wasn’t long before fish large and small were taking bait, and buckets were brought to the scale for weigh-in. Everybody got goody bags for participating, and then they headed to Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge for the food and events.
The art competition award ribbons were given out first, and then the fishing trophies which were donated by Frances Oleta Giddens of Lakeland. The festivities were all over by noon.
Derby winners include:
Largest Fish and Most Weight (same place for both awards):
First place (15 ounce bass) — Ava Layne Young. Second place — Raylyn Hunt (catfish). Third place — Bug Hodges.
First place — Gaug Willford. Second place — Ce’Kyria Hodges. Third place — Tyler Durovey.
Most Weight: First place — Ce’Kyria Hodges. Second place — Gaug Willford. Third place — Lindsey Jones
First place — Justin Ridley (2-1/2 pound catfish). Second place — Conor Ray. Third place — Taft Strickland
First place — Justin Ridley. Second place — Conor Ray. Third place — Ricky Brown.
First place — Lauren Bruce. Second place — Marihelen Strickland. Third place — Brent Monroe.
First place — Trenton Whitacre. Second place — Marihelen Strickland. Third place — Lauren Bruce.