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More than a trophy: Quincy’s Youth Day of Fishing goes back to the basics

by SAM FLETCHER
Staff Writer | March 9, 2021 1:00 AM

The Quincy Chamber of Commerce’s free, annual Youth Day of Fishing trout derby, on the first Saturday of March, was COVID-cautious this year by stripping the accessories and keeping to the basics: a youth fishing day.

And with smiles on families passing by in boats or circling the shorelines of Quincy, Burke and Evergreen lakes, no one seemed to be missing the fishing contest, weigh-in, awards ceremony or registration. Just by submitting photos, kids could win prizes.

In the early hours of the morning, city staff positioned two stations of tables with red, white and blue balloons. Families drove through on the way to the lakes, picking up goodie bags stuffed with neon hats, bubbles, information to enter a photo contest and more.

The first 65 kids could even pick up kits with little fishing poles and tackle boxes. With droves of eager families, every item was gone by 8 a.m., as fishing opened at 7 a.m.

Families were encouraged to submit the day’s photos to the chamber to post on its Facebook page. By the end of the week, the photos with the most “likes” will win a prize.

The prizes are no joke, either. The best photos can win a PlayStation 4, a drone, a Bluetooth speaker and more, said Cari Matthews, executive director of the Quincy Chamber of Commerce.

While derbies in years past were for all ages, it’s important to put special emphasis on the kids, Matthews said. Ages 15 and younger were allowed in this year’s event.

“It’s just the smiles on their face and the fun that they have and the pride that they take in when they bring in their fish,” she said. “Usually, when we had the weigh-in and stuff, the kids were the funnest part about it.”

Many of the adult anglers, like Quincy resident DJ Caudill, have been fishing the lake since they were kids. Caudill brought his son Graham on Saturday to do the same.

The prizes are far from the most important part of it, said Quincy resident Travis Murphy. It’s about coming out and having a good time, he said. It’s about the kids.

To vote for the best fishing day photo, visit facebook.com/quincyvalleychamberofcommerce.

Sam Fletcher can be reached via email at sfletcher@columbiabasinherald.com.

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Sam Fletcher

Left to right, DJ Caudill, Graham Caudill and Beckham Motzkus show off their catch at the Quincy Youth Fishing Day Saturday.

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Sam Fletcher

Left to right, Quincy Youth Fishing Day hosts Julie Putnam, Gene Rosenburger, Ryan Peterson, Catalina Blancas, Robbi Rublo, Fernando Avalos and Galen Golay hand out goodie bags and fishing kits first thing Saturday morning.

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Sam Fletcher

Lucho Murphy (left) blows bubbles from his goodie bag as Noah Rios (right) shows off his catch at Burke Lake for the Quincy Youth Fishing Day on Saturday.