Hundreds Participate In Annual Fishing Derby

By any measure, the fishing was good at Airey Lake Saturday.

Of course, the deck was stacked in their favor.

"We stock the pond with fish," says Ed Moody, Wildlife Biologist with the Desoto National Forest.

"Therefore we have a lot of hungry catfish out there and the kids are more likely to catch a good catfish," he said.

Even still not everyone got lucky, but like any good fisherman the unlucky were ready with a good excuse.

"I think they're all full of the bait and everything," says Katie Hilbun of Pass Christian.

Nearly 200 kids, from toddlers to teens, from all across South Mississippi wet their lines at the 11th Annual Kids Fishing Derby.

An event sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service, where Wildlife Biologist Ed Moody says, size doesn't necessarily matter.

"We're doing the biggest fish per age group," says Moody. "The biggest individual fish and the smallest, so someone catches a 6 inch catfish they could win just as big a prize as someone catching a 5 pound catfish out here."

Moody says the true measure of success is that everyone has a good time and a good experience in the great outdoors.

"We like to get people using the national forest here and a lot of kids this is the only time they get to go fishing every year."

And what kid doesn't want a great fish tale to share.