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Rick Bramwell

The Kids Fishing Derby at Shadyside Lake has been revived. For over 30 years, this was a big event for local kids. Back in the day, many volunteers made this a day to look forward to, and now it is back.

Those involved that I know are Mayor Thomas Broderick, Jr., the Anderson Parks and Recreation Department, Bobbers Restaurant and Bait House and crappie pros Patrick Stone and Steve Jeffers.

The Kids Derby will originate from the Shadyside Activity Center on June 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The first 20 to register will receive a free gift. All participants must register. This Derby is for kids aged 5 to 17.

Prizes will be awarded for the most fish and biggest fish.

If I were going for the most fish, I would use a No. 8 hook tipped with a wax worm about 2 feet under a bobber. This rig can catch a bunch of small bluegills. A live nightcrawler fished either under a bobber or on the bottom would be my choice to catch a big bass, catfish or carp.

I’m sure prize donations would be appreciated as long as they are new.

Stone and Jeffers are good guys to work a kids fishing derby. As a professional crappie fishing team, they have excelled. Last weekend, the two finished second at a Crappie USA Region 3 championship on Lake Cumberland. This was the heaviest weigh-in of the season. Their next stop is the Crappie USA Tournament Trail Classic on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina.

The team catches a lot of its fish on Indiana-made Big Diddy plastic grubs slung with Ozark Rods. I have one of the Ozark 7-foot rods made for dock shooting, but I like it for casting small grubs for redear.

I’m sure once the derby gets underway Stone and Jeffers will be happy to answer questions on crappie fishing. I plan on being there and asking a few myself.

Joe Jones and I had one last go at the spawning redear on Geist last Friday. They had moved out of the bays to the edge of deep weeds. I look forward to discovering where they go in the dog days of summer. We had two exceed 11 inches.

I’ve read articles about others who use a drop-shot rig and a piece of nightcrawler to search for deepwater redear. Since this species is a bottom feeder, I won’t set the hook more than 10 inches above the sinker.

There is a 3-pound Geist redear just waiting for me to catch it. The lake record is 3 pounds, 12 ounces.

Rick Bramwell’s outdoors column runs on Thursdays.

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