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Kids fishing derby enters third decade

Returning for its 31st year, the Farmington Parks and Recreation’s Wiggle and Giggle Kid Fishing Derby returned to Hagar Lake on Saturday for another fun-filled day of fishing and fun.

“Our numbers were really down this year,” said Pam Inman, with the parks and recreation department, but I think that has a lot to do with the rain and people cleaning up today.”

According to Inman, this year’s derby only saw around 75 young anglers compared to last year when 127 youth participated in the event.

But even with the low numbers, those in attendance seemed to enjoy the day fishing and spending time with family.

For 6-year-old Reagan Miller and her father, Owen, the annual event gave the two some time to spend together.

“This is a fun activity for us to do,” Miller said. “We look forward to coming every year. I just wish it wasn’t so windy today. I think that might be hurting the fishing. The only thing we caught was the tip of an old fishing pole.”

For many the strong gusts of wind were making it difficult to catch anything.

“The wind is a killer this morning, so we decided to call it a day,” said Jeremy Wesbecher, who was there with his sons Jacob, 5, and Gabe, 9. “We have come the last three years, but with the wind the fish aren’t biting.”

For others, Wiggle and Giggle has become a family tradition.

“My dad brought my son to Wiggle and Giggle when he was just a little boy, and he is now 28,” said Missy Petrie. “Now my son Derek is bringing his son, Hunter. It is so great the city keeps this event going.”

Petrie pointed out that Saturday’s event had four generations sitting on the cove and fishing together. Not only was Petrie, her son and her grandson at the event, but Hunter’s great-grandparents, Roy and Judy Aubuchon, were also present.

While others weren’t catching, one young girl was holding her own against her brother. Brooklyn Norman, 7, and her brother Tristan, both hooked a good size catfish, according to their father Nick.

“They both caught a channel cat that was around 3 and a half pounds,” Nick said. “Brooklyn got her fish but the line broke on Tristan’s and his fish got away.”

Even with the wind blowing and the low numbers, everyone seemed to have fun enjoying a day out in the sun, being at a park, and having access to free hot dogs.

Winners at Saturday’s fishing derby will be listed in this Thursday’s edition of the Farmington Press. 

Even with the wind blowing steady on Saturday morning, Garrett McDowell, 11, was able to hook a good size catfish during Saturday's Wiggle and Giggle Kids Fishing Derby. 

Even with the wind blowing steady on Saturday morning, Garrett McDowell, 11, was able to hook a good size catfish during Saturday’s Wiggle and Giggle Kids Fishing Derby. 

Dominic Barnes looks over his bucket to check on the bluegill he caught on Saturday while fishing at the Wiggle and Giggle Fishing Derby at Hagar Lake.  

Dominic Barnes looks over his bucket to check on the bluegill he caught on Saturday while fishing at the Wiggle and Giggle Fishing Derby at Hagar Lake.  

Craig Vaughn is a reporter for the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3629 or at cvaughn@farmingtonpressonline.com

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