SSFA introduces kids to fishing

MARQUETTE – Sunny skies made for a beautiful day in Lakenenland Saturday during the 10th annual South Shore Fishing Association Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Kids Fishing Derby.

Providing fishing poles, bait and bobbers – and stocking the small pond at the entrance of Lakenenland with 160 rainbow trout – the fishing association was hoping to instill the love of fishing its own members have in the younger generations by partnering with non-profit Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Previously, the event took place out on Lake Superior, with volunteer boat captains taking the kids out onto the water. But the association moved the event this year to Tom Lakenen’s scrap metal sculpture park, located between Marquette and Munising off M-28 just across from Shot Point Road.

“This year, we decided to change the venue and the format and it was beyond our expectations,” said Mylan Koski, president of the association. “I would say fishing was fair.”

Three of the 160 planted trout were tagged, allowing the lucky catcher of one those trout to earn a $50 gift card to Donckers in Marquette.

Cole Harris, 6, of Marquette was fishing with his dad, Weston Harris, when he caught one of the tagged fish, proudly holding it up with a grin.

Two-year-old Chase Hanson tried his hand at fishing for the first time during the event, with mom Lisa Hanson of Shelter Bay looking on.

And Marquette residents and friends Cassie Davis 8, and Alli Hyde, boasting an age of 6 and three-quarters, were fishing with Alli’s mom, Lisa Hyde, off a little pier that jutted out over the water.

As people fished, others walked or drove the trail to check out the many sculptures Lakenen has created by hand from junkyard scrap metal.

All of the kids were treated to a Main Street Pizza lunch and received gift bags that included gummy fish from Donckers.

Koski said the day went “extremely well,” with 129 kids participating, so many the association ran out of fishing poles to hand out.

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is