Don't Let This One Get Away

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You know you have a pretty special and unique event when people plan their vacation around it. And that's what folks do each year so their kids can enter the Annual Schroon Lake Kids Fishing Derby.

"I get calls from people wanting to know the date of event so they can be up here for it," one of the organizers, Joe Steiniger told Schroon Laker.

So mark your calendars now for July 28. As always, this year's event is co-sponsored by the Schroon Lake Fish and Game Club and the Chamber of Commerce.

And it's easy to see why this event is so popular. Every kid is guaranteed a fun day out, thanks to Joe and his co-chair, Mary McDonald. There's free hotdogs, drinks, chips and a coupon for a free ice-cream cone, courtesy of Stewart's.

"All the kids that enter get a tackle box, free worms and a hand made lure or spinner. They are made by the former DEC Ranger for this area, Fran Murdock, who is retired now and lives in Florida," Joe said.

No one knows precisely just how long the event has been staged, but Joe estimates it's well over 20 years.

"We have kids who are teenagers now who come back and help the little kids."

Each fish -- no matter how small -- is painstakingly weighed. The event is held at the Town fishing pier, where surprisingly, a large number of fish are caught.

"The area is at the end of a pier, so I assume there is debris down there," Joe theorized. "That would give shelter to small fish which would attract larger fish."

The fish that a caught range from crappies, to perch, bass and blue gills.

"There was one kid who each year managed to catch a cat fish and won several years in a row. This year he is to old to enter the contest. I ran into his mom the other day and she told me he was really disappointed about not being able to enter"

The event goes rain or shine. There are prizes awarded in multiple categories. Open to kids 12 and under. For more information call Joe at 518-532-9768.

Got memories of fishing derby's of yesteryear? Share them with us in comments.