Kids get hooked on fishing at Republic Sportsman's Club Fishing Derby

The 29th annual Republic Sportsman's Club Fishing Derby wrapped up Sunday afternoon with ideal weather.

Club President, Craig Van Beek says the weekend was a huge success.

350 sportsmen and women including nearly 100 kids came from all over the Midwest to compete.

Participants had a shot at a host of prizes. Trophies and cash prizes were handed out for first, second and third largest catch in several categories including Walleye, Northern pike, Bass, Rock Bass, Blue Gill Crappie, and Perch.

First place Walleye measuring 25.8” raked in a cool $1,000.

Van Beek says events like this are really for the kids.

“That is what it's all about. That's what we enjoy seeing. That's what gives us all smiles on our faces. We just enjoy that so much up here. We support the kids coming out. It is one of the neatest things to see those kids come up and get those prizes because that's really what we enjoy seeing out here,” Van Beek asserted.

All proceeds will be used by the Republic Sportsman's Club for various restoration projects in the community according to Van Beek. He says one of the Club’s biggest goals is to construct a new spillway for the Michigamme. That project will cost an estimated $400,000.

"To get the project started we need to get another $100,000. We're working on some grants on that. And we're trying to get more local support. Whatever we get from these tournaments is going to go toward helping that out. That is one of our bigger goals right now is to get that spillway taking care of," Van Beek announced.

Van Beek also says he'd like to see even more kids participate next year.

Click here to learn how you can get involved in the Republic Sportsman's Club.