The 26th Annual Cove Lake Fishing Derby sponsored by Paris Rotary Club, U.S. Forest Service, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the National Wild Turkey Federation was held on Saturday, June 7. One hundred and forty-three kids, ages two through nine, participated in this year’s derby. Seventy-six kids weighed in fish. Overall, there were 161 pounds and 11 ounces of catfish caught by the kids. All children participating received prizes.
Special prizes and trophies were given to the three heaviest stringers in two age groups (2-5 and 6-9), smallest fish caught by a hook and tagged fish.
The first place prize for the heaviest stringer (trophy, Shakespeare rod and reel combo with bait, complete tackle assortment, and a two-tray tackle box) went to Desiree Landis (4 lbs. 8 oz.) in the 6-9 age group and Ty Farmer (4 lbs. 12 oz.) in the 2-5 age group.
Second place prize (trophy, Shakespeare rod and reel combo with complete tackle assortment and a one-tray tackle box) went to Noah Jeffers in the 6-9 age group (4 lbs. 3 oz.) and (trophy, Zebco rod and reel combo with complete tackle assortment and a one tray tackle box) went to Kynston Varnell (4 lbs. 2 oz.) in the 2-5 age group. Third place prize (trophy, Zebco rod and reel combo with tackle and one-tray tackle box) went to Karlee Helms (4 lbs.) in the 6-9 age group and Lexie Gilliland (3 lbs. 14 oz.) in the 2-5 age group.
There was a tie for the smallest fish caught on a hook this year (5 inches in length) so there was a coin toss to determine first and second place winners. First place prize (trophy, Zebco rod and reel combo with tackle and a Berkley soft tackle box) went to Harper Lukas and second place prize (Dock Demon fishing pole and assorted tackle) went to Presley Cozens. There were two tagged fish caught this year. Tagged fish prizes (Dock Demon fishing pole and Surf Rider Slip n Slide) were awarded to Melissa Ludwick and Lawson Wells. Owen James and Thomas Eckelhoff won the door prizes this year.
The Paris Rotary Club, U.S. Forest Service, Arkansas Game andFish Commission and the National Wild Turkey Federation would like to thank the following donors for helping make this derby a success: Arkansas Family Eye Care, Arvest Bank, Bank of the Ozarks, Barham Law, Bob Rogers Chevrolet, Charlotte Davis, Cloyes Gear Company, CV’s Family Foods, East End Sports Pub, Ed Williams Body Shop, Farm Bureau – Keith Eichenberger, Farm Bureau – Mary Harrison, Farmer’s Cooperative - Subiaco, First National Bank, Glen Constantino, Hazel’s Cabins, Howard Bates, Jimmy White, Khilling Printing, Lawson Land Surveying, Linda Hixson, M&M Construction, Mickey Oates – County Treasurer, MJ’s Bar & Grill, Paris Auto Parts & Accessories, Paris Dental Clinic – Nick Dollar, Paris Express, Paris Ford, Precision Rathole, Rexene Clarkston, Richard Carpenter, Rob & Cindy Kopack, Roller Funeral Home, Sabrina’s, Subiaco Abbey & Academy, Subiaco Federal Credit Union, Tom Spivey, D.D.S., Walmart of Paris, Wells Furniture and Appliance and Wells Law Firm.
A special thanks goes to Bubba Askins who volunteered his services as a certified diver to check the fish nets. Also, thanks to the Logan County EMS for attending and making the derby a safe event.