The Casting For Kids annual fishing tournament will return to Lake Herman State Park on June 3.
The free tournament, which provides all necessary equipment and bait, opens its registration at 10 a.m., with the fishing running from 10:30 a.m to noon. Youth up to age 18 are welcome to attend, and parents are encouraged to stay, as well.
Those who have their own equipment are welcome to bring it. A free hot dog meal will be provided to all attendees.
There will be first-, second- and third-place prizes for the biggest catches as well as drawings for additional prizes, including two annual state park passes and fishing equipment.
Vickie Walters, one of the event’s organizers, said it aims to introduce more young people to fishing or encourage the love they’ve already built for the sport with their families.
“It’s to encourage people to take up the sport,” Walters said. “If there’s interest in fishing and you don’t have equipment, this is a way to learn.”
Typically, the tournament takes place during the state park’s free fishing weekend in May, but this year, it had to be rescheduled due to a conflict, Walters said.
In 2022, the tournament had a record 80 children participate, Walters said, but with school being let out and family vacations beginning, she doesn’t think attendance will be as high this year.
Casting For Kids began after avid fisherman Steve Thrun died in 2013, and another fisherman, Joe Walters, died later. The men’s families, including Retha Thrun, and Vickie, Jim and Tim Walters, decided to host a fishing tournament to share their love of the sport with the next generation.
“It kind of sparked the community and other fishermen to help, and that’s really cool,” Walters said. “There are also other families who have given money in memory of fathers who were avid fishermen, and that’s how we’re able to buy the prizes. It’s pretty great.”
Additional sponsors include the Izaak Walton, who provides the meal, and South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks.
This year, Casting For Kids is seeking volunteers. Many of the regular volunteers are unable to make it due to the June 3 event, Walters said, and the organizers would love to see fans of fishing come out to teach the less experienced fishers.
“Anyone that’s an avid fisherman that would like to share his knowledge, they’re welcome to come out,” Walters said.
Those interested in more information can call Jim Walters at 605-480-4508 or Tim Walters at 605-480-3006, she said.