Elks Fishing Derby Returns Saturday

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Fish out a rod and reel.

The Elks 6th Annual Fishing Derby, hosted by Felton’s Auto Sales, is Saturday, June 28.

Children 12 and younger may participate for free. Anyone 12 and older must pay $10. Tickets to participate in the derby can be picked up at the St. Maries Elks Lodge, St. Joe Sports Stop, Blue Goose and Felton Auto Sales through Friday, June 28.

Jim McCuaig invites area children and adults to participate in the 6th Annual Elks Fishing Derby Saturday. Friday will be the last day for those who want to participate to get tickets. The event is free for children 12 and younger. All others pay $10.

Jim McCuaig invites area children and adults to participate in the 6th Annual Elks Fishing Derby Saturday. Friday will be the last day for those who want to participate to get tickets. The event is free for children 12 and younger. All others pay $10.

“You have to get your tickets prior to the day of the event,” Jim McCuaig, exalted ruler of the Elks, said. “Everyone must have a ticket.”

Once registered, participants can head out to their favorite fishing hole Saturday in the St. Joe, Coeur d’Alene Lake or Coeur d’Alene drainage to try to catch the largest fish in one of the five categories: blueback, salmon, pike, panfish (no bass) and other fish (tinch, squaw, bullheads, etc.). Trout will not be accepted.

“When we first started we had about 15 kids and then last year we had more than 70,” Mr. McCuaig said. “The kids always have fun and that’s what it is about. It’s neat because the whole family can get together and come to this event including parents and grandparents. It’s always a lot of fun.”

Half of the proceeds from ticket sales will go toward cash prizes for winners of each category. Mr. Felton also donates money for prize winners which is then added to the money collected from ticket sales, Mr. McCuaig said. He said the other of half of the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Elks Lodge.

“We have one winner in each of the five categories for both kids and the adults,” Mr. McCuaig said. “I think each winner got between $50 and $60 last year.”

Mr. McCuaig said adults are encouraged to participate because it really supports the rest of the event.

He reminds people that the longest fish, not the heaviest wins. Fish will be measured from 4 to 5 p.m. in the parking lot at the Elks Lodge. Participants keep their fish. Barbecued hamburgers, hotdogs and all the fixings will be served. The cost is $5 per person.

The awards ceremony will follow at 5:30 p.m.

Mr. McCuaig said there will also be different raffles. Everyone who enters the derby will receive a raffle ticket. It will either be placed in the children raffle or the adult raffle. Tickets are sold for a third raffle.

Prizes for adults include gift certificates to area businesses including Fast Eddie’s and Hughes Ace Hardware, Casa De Oro, and the St. Joe Lodge. Other items include sporting good items, towels, blankets and more. Prizes for children include rods and reels, tackle boxes and more.

“People from St. Maries and the businesses here are so good about provide prizes and raffle items,” Mr. McCuaig said.

Cabelas also donated 50 rods and reels for adults and children. Mr. McCuaig said they also donate something every year for the event.

“We definitely have more prizes for the kids. We really try to make sure every kid leaves with something,” Mr. McCuaig said. “So far, we have been able to do that.”

Mr. McCuaig said he enjoys the event every year and is again looking forward to this year’s derby.

“I’m just hoping for a big turnout again,” he said.

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