After a big haul in 2012, Kids Fishing Weekend will be back in 2013 and organizers hope to reel in even more participants for this year’s June 8-9 event on Lake Sharpe near Pierre.

The event gives every child the chance to fish one day for three hours with a professional fisherman, a guide or an experienced parent. It’s different from other fishing programs in that it lets them experience fishing from a boat, with participants leaving from Downs Marina.

“Last year we had 130 kids. It ran as smooth as silk,” said organizer Doug Iverson. “We hope to have 250 to 300 this year. We think it’s the most unique fishing adventure for kids in the nation.”

As with last year’s events, sponsors are kicking in to make sure each participant receives some fishing tackle and other gear. Last year, each child who took part in the fishing weekend received about $200 worth of gear, including a fishing rod and reel combo, a hat and t-shirt, water bottle and other items.

Ken Steiner, who is also helping to organize the event, said though there’s plenty of work beforehand, volunteers have been great about helping carry out the event. No one minds losing the weekend because it’s what anglers love to do in their free time anyway, Steiner said – and the big catch may be a new generation of fishermen.

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