I am hoping that the weather will be great for the fishing derby this Friday at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery.

It is always a neat event to cover, while seeing children catching their fish — some of which might be the first time to fishing.

As stated in Tuesday’s Neosho Daily News article, everything is provided for children ages 7-12 to participate in one of the two sessions.

As I have pointed out before, I enjoy fishing. I don’t get to do it as often as I did when I was a kid, but it truly is a relaxing sport.

I don’t remember how I became interested in fishing, but I begged my parents to take me fishing when I was around 12 years old, growing up in Newtonia.

So with a fishing pole purchased, we headed to the bait shop near Hickory Creek in Neosho on a spring day to purchase some worms and some fishing items.

The first place that I remembered we fished was at Jolly Mill, just east of Newtonia. We sat on the banks of Capps Creek near the mill, we put the bait on the fishing hook, put the line in the water and waited. Minutes seemed like hours, but in an instant, the tug came from the murky high current water.

Great, a tree branch was my first catch. Undoing the line from the branch, I quickly put the line back into the water.

Second try was even better, a fish. Reeling in the fish, I was very pleased. It was a sun perch, about the size of an adult’s hand. With the help of my parents, we took the fish off and putting it into the keep-able fish net cage.

But the fish did not stop there, Soon after, Greg and even my parents caught a couple of fish.

I remembered that we eventually took the fish home and took them to my grandparents’ house. Instead of cooking them, we opted to give them back to the water, but this time in the Newtonia Branch. Who knows, those fish might have been the only fish seen in the branch for a number of years.

So, if you have a child in the age group specified, contact the hatchery at 451-0554 or go by the hatchery for more information and to sign them up. I can tell you, they will enjoy the day.

Todd G. Higdon is a staff writer and writes a weekly column for the Neosho Daily News. He can be reached at thigdon@neoshodailynews.com. Follow him on twitter at  @toddghigdonNDN