The 20th annual Hooked On Fishing, Not On Drugs (HOFNOD) fishing tournament casts off Saturday morning.
The annual derby is sponsored by the Iola Police Department and will once again be at Abbott’s Pond, near the intersection of North Cottonwood Street and Miller Road.
Participants are welcome to park in the Lutheran Church parking lot at 117 E. Miller Rd., then hike a short distance to the pond.
This year’s derby promises a special prize to the first 200 kids who check in at the gate. Each will receive a new Shakespeare rod and reel.
“It’s important to note it’s for the first 200 who check in,” said Mike Ford, community resource officer. “We’ve had people register before and not show up to the derby.”
Requiring the kids to check in first guarantees they’ll earn their keep.
The rest of the derby follows previous incarnations.
Registration begins at 8 a.m, with rules and safety briefings beginning at 9.
The fishing will start immediately after the briefings conclude.
Participants are encouraged to bring their own bait, fishing supplies and a drink for the competition.
The fishing runs until 11 o’clock, at which time lunch will be served.
The competition is divided into three age groups — 2-7 years, 9-12 and 13-17.
The top three finishers in each age group will get other prizes.
Overall prizes will be given for the largest fish, most fish and smallest fish.
Youngsters are encouraged to check in early, at the city’s website, www.cityofiola.com, or by stopping by the police department during business hours. Doing so will greatly speed up the check-in process, Ford noted.
Pre-registration ends at noon Friday.
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