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Burlington fishing derby just for kids

Burlington Lake was busy Monday with the first fishing derby for children.

“We have tournaments for adults every few months,” said Kim Bostwick, who has worked at the lake for 15 years for owner Jack Hall.

But this is the first time for children.

Door prizes were given out every 15 minutes to the 23 children who were competing in the derby.

Children ages three to 17 were able to compete in the derby. A church group, grandparents and parents brought children to the derby.

“We have a lot of adults who came as coaches for them,” Bostwick said. “We have a good time here, clean family-oriented.”

Backpacks, tackle boxes, rods and reels and other special gifts were given out during the day.

Catfish and carp were the two kinds of fish that were weighed in, although the lake also has bluegill.

“Everything we put in here is food-grade, farm-raised fish,” said David Hall, Jack Hall’s son. “I fixed fish yesterday for some guys and helped them clean their fish.”

The person who caught the biggest fish Monday received a trophy and second- and third-place winners received plaques.

“We also have a plaque for the closest to four pounds without going over,” Bostwick said. “This is just something we decided to put together for the kids in the Tri-State to get them out of the house, away from computers, away from TV.”

Hall mixes up special bait, a family secret, Bostwick said, that is available at the bait shop.

Cody Bowen, 14, of Huntington, W.Va., caught a 5 pound 10 ounce catfish that was the biggest fish caught for the derby Monday. He received first trophy and a $25 Wal-Mart card.

“I was up here fishing last week and I heard about (the derby) and I thought I’d come out and try my luck,” Bowen said.

Michael Baumgardner, 14, of South Point, followed in second place with a 1-pound 4-ounce catfish. He also received the plaque for catching up to 4-pound fish.

Jesse Reynolds won the third-place plaque with a 13-ounce fish.

Every year the lake is stocked and some of the fish has been there for a while weighing as much as 75 pounds, Hall said.

“The biggest fish ever caught out of the lake was a 48-pound catfish,” he said.