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Aurora

Fish should be biting for kids derby



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June 02, 2010 | 08:25 AM
Bloomfield — All the children in the world could attend the Pell Lake Sportsmen's Club's kids fishing derby, but if no one's catching any fish, it's not going to be much fun.

During last year's derby, the fish weren't biting — at least the ones that were alive. Cold weather helped kill off more fish than usual, and it wasn't a good year to fish Pell Lake.

However, Club Vice President Dave Nusberger said the state Department of Natural Resources stocked Pell Lake with about 40,000 northern last month.

"The fishing is going much better now," Nusberger said. "There are a lot of northern being caught in the lake."

This bodes well for the club's upcoming derby Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon near Pell Lake Beach. Nusberger said although it's more of a challenge to be outdoors and fish instead of playing a fishing video game, children continue to turn out to events like the derby because nothing beats the real-life experience.

"When they catch the biggest fish, there's a thrill … when their name gets called and they're congratulated," he said.

But children who participate in the derby don't have to catch the biggest fish to walk away with something.

"Every kid walked away with a bag of goodies last year," Nusberger said. "There's going to be more this year."

He said more fish and more prizes should help create more smiles on kids' faces Saturday.

"The smiles from the kids, seeing the parents come up to me and other club members, congratulating us, that's what keeps us all going," Nusberger said.

Origin of a major event

Saturday's derby marks the fifth consecutive year of what Nusberger called "our No. 1 giving-back-to-the-community-type of event."

"This is the reason why the club was started," he said. "A lot of people used to come up to me and say there's nothing to do with the kids."

According to Nusberger, "affordable entertainment" is one of the club's missions. He said that's why the club is involved in such events as next month's boat races and the recent Join Hands Day cleanup. The club also adopted a stretch of Highway 120 in the Adopt-A-Highway program and donated benches to area parks.

"We don't even sell beer at our events because we want to keep things family-oriented," Nusberger said.

He said other community groups, local businesses and "many, many people" also help the Pell Lake Sportsmen Club.

"They see the need to give the kids something positive to do," Nusberger said.

The Pell Lake Mud Hens and Property Owners Association are helping the club put on the derby. According to Nusberger, Robinson's of Genoa City are providing poles and bait. Haven's Bar and Grill is providing the food. McDonald's is providing the drinks.

Now there are more prizes than ever. Nusberger credited Dave and Kathy Tworell for coordinating the prize packages, which include Brewers tickets, gift certificates to various restaurants and Brewers, Packers and Bucks merchandise.

There are prize categories for each age group. The top prize in each category is a fishing rod.

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