Bobbers were bobbing in Viola on Saturday

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter
Trophy and medallion winners at the Viola kid's fishing derby from left are Emma Austin (front), Kaylee Esp, Casey Baugh, Starr Gomez and Madison Williams.

With around 65 youngsters aged 14 and younger out fishing in Viola on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009 at the Viola Threshers Reunion kid's fishing derby, that was a pretty good showing. The day was perfect, not too hot, not too windy and the fish were hungry. Vicki and Keith Bloomfield's two-and-a-half acre pond was opened up to area kids on the opening day of the third annual Viola Threshers Reunion, with gifts of new bobbers and a bag of gold fish for all participants.

Vicki Bloomfield said she hadn't fed the fish for the past five days. In order to make the contest fair, one of the rules was no fishing from the dock. "That's where I feed the fish from," she said.

"They flop all over the place when I feed them," she added. The pond is 15-feet deep at the dam.

All participants filled out registration papers, after which they received their free bobber from the fishing derby mascot Under The Arch "Yadi," the Bloomfield's boxer.

Winners took home trophies, for the biggest and smallest overall fish, and each age category also had medallions for the largest fish for each category.

The youngest to sign up for fishing was five-and-a-half month old Jaelyn Woodcock of Matherville.

Starr Gomez, 12, caught the largest fish - a 23 3/4-inch, four lb., 13 oz. catfish. The overall smallest fish was a 4 3/8-inch blue gill, caught by Casey Baugh, a seven-year-old Matherville boy. Winners of the largest fish in each age category were Emma Austin, 5 and under; Maddie Williams, 6-8; Kaylee Esp, 9-11 and Starr Gomez, 12-14.

Several children also took home fishing tackle kits and a tackle box as door prizes.

Starr Gomez, 12, of rural Viola caught the largest fish at the kid's fishing derby on Saturday Here from left Wayne Corlett, measures the 23 3/4-inch, four lb., 13 oz. catfish, with the help of Jim Morrison. Starr caught another large catfish at the dam on the edge of the pond.