Some local children got the opportunity to become award winning fishermen this weekend. The Sherman Parks and Recreation Department put on its annual fishing derby at Herman Baker Park on Saturday for children wishing to take part in the competition, prizes were given to those with the biggest catch, the most fish and the most fish in terms of cumulative weight.


Prizes were given out for winning participants in each age group.


“I have been participating in this event for the last three years,” Recreation Specialist Jordan Outlaw of Sherman Parks and Rec said on Saturday. “We generally have about 70-100 people come out every year.”


Outlaw said that the reason why the organization likes to have the derby is to excite children about learning something they may have never done before.


“Fishing is a lifetime sport that you can do no matter what age you are,” he said. “I think it is a good thing to get people in the parks and getting kids to learn how to fish.”


The last time that Leah Pierce brought her three sons to the park to fish, mud kept the group from being able to enjoy the experience as much as she would have liked. She said the derby gave the group another chance to try again.


“The kids get so caught up inside watching movies and playing video games,” she said. “I think that it is important to remind them that there is something outside of the house and outside of the electronics.”


While Daniel Kerbow said he loves to eat crappie, he loves to fish for stripers. He brought his two sons to Herman Baker Saturday hoping that they find enjoyment in the activity too.


“We had not been to something like this in a long time,” he said. “I like to fish when I can.”


Kerbow also said the weather brought the family outdoors on Saturday.


“We want to create a love for our parks,” Outlaw said. “It is important that people know that they can come out here with their families and that there is a range of activities to do in the parks.”


For individuals venturing into parks or wildlife areas, Outlaw said it is important to take a few precautions.


“Be prepared for the snakes and mosquitoes,” he said. “Safety is important. Be alert when you are around the water. Sun block, bug spray and staying hydrated are the three keys.”


But the most important thing Outlaw said is that people have fun and enjoy the parks whenever they can.


The Sherman Parks and Recreation Department will next be hosting “Movies in the Park” from 6:50-11 p.m. Friday at Pecan Grove Park in Sherman. “Coco” will be showing at 6:50 p.m. and “Insidious Chapter 3” will be showing at 9:10 p.m. Also, Sherman Parks and Recreation will have an event titled “The Great Pumpkin Chase” to be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Sherman Parks And Recreation office located at 1002 N. Music Street in Sherman.