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Feb. 11 on Lake Ida Luke Gandrud Fishing Derby is for the kids

No matter the age of the kid or size of the fish, all are welcome at the annual Luke Gandrud Memorial Youth Fishing Derby.

The Cormorant Sportsman's Club sponsored event, along with the Cormorant Pub, is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 11, on Lake Ida, and is free to any kid age 15 and under. For a dozen years, the fishing derby has been promoting just what the sportsman's club does -- youth, wildlife, conservation and community.

"It's promoting getting youth involved with the outdoors," organizer Tammy Odegard said.

The fishing event was renamed in 2009 after Luke Gandrud, who was instrumental in starting the fishing derby, and it has grown each year to include hundreds of kids (450 last year).

While the event is just for kids, who don't need a fishing license at age 15 and younger, Odegard said adults wouldn't have much time to fish anyway.

"Most have their hands full keeping the kids' lines untangled," she said with a laugh.

Kids can fish with free poles, tackle, bait, food and prizes.

"Everybody leaves with something," she said.

Organizer Mark Buschette said there are tables set up with prizes for the kids, and they spend plenty of time scoping out just want they want to take home.

"The (Sportsman's) Club spends a large amount," on the fishing derby. But the purpose of the fishing derby is for youth and families to get out for free and enjoy some outdoor time together.

"It's a great outdoor event with families that's affordable," Odegard said.

And it's not just the Cormorant Sportman's Club that wants to support the event either.

There are quite a few businesses more than willing to step forward and donate money to the event as well.

"It's fun to see the businesses and people who want to get involved when it's kids," Buschette said.

To raise some money for the event, raffle tickets are for sale for adults to purchase. Tickets are $5 each and will provide a chance at a 10-inch 3HP Strike Master Lazer Pro auger, Vexilzr FL-12 fish locator and an Eskimo Quick Fish 111 portable fish house. The drawing will be held at 4 p.m. after the derby.

The fishing derby is slated for 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Lake Ida at the access a quarter-mile west of the Roadhouse on Becker County Road 4.