By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTOS Belvidere Republican
Entire families came out to fish and spend time together in the beauty of the outdoors during the Hooked on Fishing event.


The Coon Creek Casters held their annual kid’s fishing clinic in Spencer Park on Saturday, June 8. The event began at 9 a.m. with crowds of kids and their families eager to race down to the pond and start casting their lines into the water.

Kathy Kasprzycki of the Coon Creek Casters organized the event this year. “ “It’s called the Hooked on Fishing Clinic and, at times, we have had 500 people out here. This year we have 165 kids signed up so, with parents, we expect over 300 people. We have stocked the pond with catfish and bluegill. We serve a hot dog lunch provided by the Lions Club. We have hot dogs, chips, and fish cookies. The Belvidere Fire Department will come out to talk about water safety and water rescue.

“We only have so much room this year. We have lost about 75 percent of our fishing area due to flooding. We can’t reach the other side of the pond.”

The fishers had to take turns and switch places so everyone could have a turn. Members of the Coon Creek Casters were scattered around the edge of the pond to help bait hooks, give instructions and measure fish. “We just stocked the pond this week. We put some nice catfish in there,” said one volunteer. “But it is so flooded that you can’t get near their holes. The kids are catching some nice little bluegills.”

“We have bait and poles if the kids need them,” said Kathy. “The event is a catch-and-release and we have judges who will measure the fish. We have prizes for the largest fish, smallest fish, most fish… everyone will go home with something. We don’t turn anyone away. If a kid shows up and is not registered, we take them anyway. The Boone County Conservation District (BCCD) has exempted everyone from having a license today during the event.

“Everything we do is volunteer. We have a chairman for every event and they all do a good job. We do a Carp-a-thon on the first Saturday in August for our fall fundraiser. We will serve brats and sweet corn. The UAW will provide…

For complete article, pick up the June 13 Belvidere Republican.

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