Young anglers cast their lines

BRUSHY CREEK – Peyton Larson has done a lot of fishing with his family in his eight years, but Saturday he was certain he made the biggest catch of his life.

The bass he caught just off the fishing pier during the annual Brushy Creek Fishing Derby was indeed a big one, but maybe not quite a keeper.

“Ooh, can I keep him?” Larson asked as he showed the fish off to his brother and sister.

The fish wasn’t quite long enough and had to be returned to the water.

“I wasn’t so happy he had to be put back,” said Larson. “That was my biggest fish ever.”

Larson’s family made a day of coming out to Brushy Creek for some fishing and had a fairly successful time.

“Today was a good day to come out,” said Larson’s mother, Brandi Larson. “We caught three, but they were all throw backs. We try to do as much fishing together as we can.”

Since it is free fishing weekend in Iowa and casting a line does not require a license, Angie Benning decided to give it a try with her children, Adryan and Lilly.

“They’re pretty experienced,” said Angie Benning. “They go fishing with their dad all of the time, but I thought it would be a good thing to do together.”

Lilly Benning said she wasn’t having much luck Saturday, but she still likes to fish.

“The first fish I ever caught was a little bluegill,” she said.

Jolet Pinkley,7, wasn’t finding many fish with her pole, so she did decided to trade it for a net to see what she might find close to shore. Her total catch of the day included eight snails and a crawfish.

“All I’ve caught today is just snails,” she said. “They’re slimy.”

Emma Overton,7, found a spot on the pier to perch and wait for the fish to bite.

“I fish a lot but I haven’t had a catch today,” she said. “A few bites, but the fish are playing games with me, they keep taking our worms.”