Help a kid catch a fish, and they’re hooked for life. The Ed McLain Memorial Old Man and Kid Fishing Derby is the perfect excuse for fishermen and women to teach kids the fine arts of casting, reeling and finding the ever-elusive whopper.
Held the first Sunday of August in the city park in Stanton, ND, the derby is free and open to everyone. It is coordinated by Joe Neumiller, a field technician at the Great Plains Synfuels Plant, and his wife, Jennifer. The event is funded entirely on donations, and Basin Electric is one of those donors.
The rules of the derby are loose. The goal is for families to have fun. Teams consist of an adult and a couple kids. Teams are allowed to fish anywhere – shore, boat, creek, river, lake – as long as they’re back in time for the 3 p.m. weigh-in. Participants are treated to a community potluck following the derby, complete with fried fish and all the fixings. All kids who register win prizes, ranging from fishing rods and tackle boxes to lawn chairs and tents. Bikes are given away as grand prizes.
The Aug. 5, 2012, derby attracted a record 140 teams and 220 kids. Neumiller says it’s grown every year since his uncle Ed McLain started it 17 years ago. McLain passed away, but Neumiller and the Stanton community have kept it going through donations of dollars and time. Volunteers include many Basin Electric and Synfuels Plant employees, including Erin Huntimer, staff writer/editor, who has emceed the event for the past two years.
Watch the video to experience some of the fishing fun.