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Fishing derby keeps kids loving outdoors

Well, holy rain everyone. The stuff just keeps on a-coming down. The cooler air that comes along with the storms is welcome, but man, when will it slow down?

I mean, it's not that often that there are flash flood warnings posted for the Mississippi River. Usually smaller creeks and streams are most affected.

The Rock, well, she's just rolling along a little high, just waiting to be fished.

Anyway, this week I come with news of an awesome event that a couple of great friends of mine have taken over for area youths. It is the 10th annual Tampico Fishing Derby, and it will be held Saturday, June 28, at the Hennepin Canal. Tirzah Renkes, along with her husband Dusty, summed up the event for me to pass along to you:

"This is a day of outdoor family fun, and the entire event is free for all who attend. We have ages from 1-16 in the fishing derby, and every child goes home with a prize. This will be the 10th year of the event, and we plan to continue it for years to come.

"The new grand prize this year will be a guided tour on the Rock River with CatMatt Jones! Prizes will also be given away during the fishing, which is new this year.  All kids fish from 9-11 a.m., but there are three age divisions.

"We took over the event last year from Shirley & Don Lester, who started the derby 8 years ago. We have had very generous sponsors who make this event happen. Alliance Pipeline & Wahl Clipper are our two corporate sponsors. We also have local area businesses and friends who donate."

What an awesome-sounding event, and after looking at the pictures from last year, it looks as if people really enjoy it. Lots of kids and lots of fun for all.

I remember when I lived in Tampico as a young kid. The canal was my getaway. I remember catching numerous catfish, including bullheads, channels and flatheads, as well as many bluegill and crappie. It was also home to some of the most ginormous turtles I'd ever seen.

I'm not a big fan of turtles, but being able to be involved in an event that brings back so many memories is just priceless. Heck, if I could pass for 16, I'd fish the dang thing myself … and probably lose. But whatever.

A big shout-out to Dusty and Tirzah Renkes for keeping such a great event alive for local kids to enjoy. I know they are both busy people, with Tirzah running Small Town Hair and Care in Prophetstown, and Dusty being the owner of 9 Mile taxidermy.  Thank you both for making time for kids.

Anyway, you all be careful around the water for a couple days, and remember that fishing is exceptional with water on the rise.

So get outside, and Go Catfish!

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