Huck Finn Day brings children free-fishing, fun

For many children, Saturday could only be described as a great day to go fishing.

For Robert Fournier, the day was made even better after reeling in a 15 1/2-inch rainbow trout out of the Loudy Simpson pond the largest of Huck Finn Fun Day.

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Five-year-old Kenzi Donoho displays her catch, a 13-and-jone-half inch rainbow trout.

"It was a big fish, so I had to go real slow," Fournier said. "But it won me a rod and reel."

The Fenwick-Abu Garcia combination rod and reel, the prize for largest fish, was valued at $100. The combination was donated by the Fenwick Company.

The prizes didn't stop with the largest fish, the smallest fish won as well.

As the tournament wound down to the last half-hour, the smallest fish came in at four-and-one-half inches.

Bridget Harrington turned in a clutch performance in the final 10 minutes, hooking into a four and 3/8-inch bullhead. The tiny catfish won Harrington $50 in Spree Bucks.

More than $500 worth of Spree Bucks were given away during Huck Finn Day, donated by the VFW Post 4265 and its Women's Auxiliary.

Spree Bucks are local gifts generated by the Craig Chamber of Commerce, and can be used directly with a merchant or cashed in at a bank for hard currency.

Along with the Spree Bucks, more than $100 worth of fishing tackle was given away. The tackle was donated by the Pure Fishing Company and event chairman, Nick Kamzalow.

Huck Finn Day wasn't just about fishing. The day also held the once-a-year mimicry of Huckleberry Finn and Becky Thatcher.

Two-year-old Cheyenne Harmon walked away with $50, and the title of Best Huck Finn for kids ages 1 through 8.

Anthony Salazar, 13, did the same in the 9 to 15 age group.

The Becky Thatcher section found six year-old Riley Johnston winning first place for the younger group, while the only competitor in the older section, Harrington, won by default.

Kenny Herrick, 5, won the fishing pole contest.

This year's Huck Finn Day didn't pull in nearly as many children as it did last year, but the shores of the Loudy-Simpson pond were still crowded with young anglers.

"We didn't get nearly enough advertising as we had in the past," Kamzalow said. "But, because Huck Finn Day is an annual event, we still had a good draw. We had about 76 register for the fishing competition, and a bunch more who just showed up to fish."

The day of fishing and costumes found our country's veterans measuring fish and jesting with the youngsters. The Lion's Club was also on hand, serving hamburgers and hotdogs for those who couldn't wait for a fish dinner.

"We're just lucky to have so many people willing to help out. It just makes it that much better for all those involved," Kamzalow said.

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