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Anglers spend afternoon on Spirit Lake for Menahga Fishing Derby

Mike Rogers' dog Spirit (named for Spirit Lake) shows him where the fish are as she sticks her nose down the fishing hole at the Menahga Fishing Derby Saturday. (Annd Erickson/Enterprise)1 / 3
Dave Kicker helps weigh in a fish at the Menahga Fishing Derby Saturday afternoon. The fish were fairly small but spirits were high at the annual event.(Anna Erickson/Enterprise)2 / 3
Farrah Koskie, of Park Rapids, spent Saturday afternoon fishing with her grandpa on Spirit Lake. (Anna Erickson/Enterprise)3 / 3

Hundreds gathered on Spirit Lake Saturday for the annual Menahga Fishing Derby.

The derby was rescheduled from the previous Saturday because of an ice storm that created bad driving conditions.

"We ended up having great weather by switching days," said Dave Treinen, chairman of the event.

He estimates between 300 and 400 people attended the fishing event, although it's not just about fishing.

People of all ages attended to socialize and eat food purchased from the Cub Scouts while standing around a hole, waiting for the fish to bite.

Ryan Tolkkinen, a 4 year old, waited to catch a fish without too much luck. He did get a free night light from the event as a door prize.

Farrah Koskie, of Park Rapids, spent the day fishing with her grandpa, which she said was fun, although she didn't have much luck catching fish either.

Jim Lifgren, of Menahga, was content sitting outside for the afternoon among others, seeking fish.

Treinen said some people had luck catching fish but there weren't too many big ones caught during the derby.

Mike Rogers of Menahga brought his dog, Spirit, onto the ice to help him fish.

The spaniel loves the winter and the snow, he said. Spirit knew where the fish were, too. She stuck her nose down the fishing hole to show her owner.

People stayed for the door prizes even if they didn't catch a fish. Exercise was part of the derby as people ran up to the announcer to get door prizes for being married for the least amount of time, having tweezers in their pocket or for wearing a Menahga School sweatshirt.

Prizes were also awarded for different categories of fish. Those results will be printed in Saturday's Enterprise.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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