OSAGE BEACH, Mo. - The annual Take a Kid Fishing Derby is an increasingly popular free activity for children and their families to try to hook a big catch or learn how to fish from local experts.
For past three years, children had a three-hour run of fishing the second Saturday of October at the Osage Beach City Park's fully stocked pond.
This year, the event has been moved to Lake of the Ozarks State Park because of Osage Beach City Park's temporary closure after flood and storm damage to many of its amenities and structures.
However, the Fourth Annual Teach a Kid to Fish Derby is anticipating another large turnout of more than 100 children.
The derby is scheduled from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at Public Beach No. 2 at the Pa He Tsi ramp within Lake of the Ozarks State Park in Osage Beach. In case of rain, the derby will be held Oct. 13 at the same time and location.
Bill Cassidy, event organizer and owner of Osage Beach Bait & Tackle, said he is excited to see another amazing activity with lots of kids getting the opportunity to fish and honor a late, great outdoorsmen who made a mark in the lake area community and beyond.
Cassidy wanted to honor his friend, the late Jerry Adams, who was a noted outdoorsman and radio and TV personality.
Cassidy took over Adams' "Outdoors in the Ozarks" radio show, which is now called "Fishing in the Ozarks." In talking about his friend on the show, he mentioned starting a children's fishing derby in honor of Adams.
This mention spurred three $100 donations and other forms of support. The derby just took off and has steadily grown each year.
There are many dedicated local fishing experts and guides, as well as other individuals willing to volunteer their time to help with this increasingly popular, fun family activity.
As well as honoring Adams, this year's derby also honors Wayne Drysdale, who is a friend of Cassidy and who has been a derby volunteer since it began.
"We have lots of exciting activities planned for this year," Cassidy said. "Of course, anyone who is willing to help donate attendance prizes for the kids and volunteers who aren't afraid to take a fish off a hook or put on bait for the little ones are welcome."
Admission is free. Parents are asked to bring for their child a pole and spool of line; however, for those less fortunate, Cassidy hopes to provide rods and reels if needed and will be available on a limited basis.
Cassidy is providing worms, hooks and bobbers for each child participant. Plus, children will also receive a Take a Kid Fishing T-shirt again this year. Guests will also be served lunch and refreshments, along with prizes and giveaways furnished from local businesses and sponsors.
For more information, call Cassidy at Osage Beach Bait & Tackle, 573-348-9333.