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31st Annual Republic Sportsman’s Club Fishing Derby reels in big turnout

Nearly 400 competing in this year’s fishing tournament, including around 80 kids looking to hook the biggest fish in the waters of the Michigamme River.
Published: Jul. 17, 2021 at 9:42 PM EDT
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REPUBLIC, Mich. (WLUC) - This weekend marks the 31st Annual Fishing Derby in Republic -- and the turnout has nearly doubled compared to last year.

About 400 people have registered to compete in this year’s fishing tournament, including nearly 80 kids looking to hook the biggest fish in the waters of the Michigamme River -- walleye, northern pike, bass, rock bass, blue gill, crappie, trout and perch.

1st prize is awarded $1,000 for the largest walleye.

Among the bigger catches Saturday afternoon was a northern pike nearly 30 inches long.

The event is sponsored by the Republic Sportsman’s Club -- a family-fun tournament 31 years and running that withstood the pandemic impact last year.

“We’ve gotten back to normal as far as the number of participants ( had beautiful weather. (Saturday) night we’re looking forward to our fireworks (show). We’ve got a big bonfire tonight, got the beer tent -- people are out here celebrating. You know things are normal again. We’re really happy about it. You can see it in the people. People are more excited, they’re happy to be out and it’s been a great experience. One of the best parts of this is watching those kids bring up their fish, get them checked in. They’re all happy. It’s a good time,” said Republic Sportsman’s Club President Craig Van Beek.

The fishing derby continues Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET.

Entry fee is $20 dollars for ages 17 and up -- $5 for those younger.

In addition to the awards ceremony there will also be live music, raffle prizes and food at Republic’s Munson Park.

Learn more about the event HERE.

Get derby results and updates HERE.

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