Friendly Competition Before “Hooked on Hardwater” Weekend


The Club for Boys, Hooked on Hardwater event was held this past weekend at Sheridan Lake here in the Black Hills and it was very successful again despite the emergency change in location from Deerfield to Sheridan due to sloppy conditions at Deerfield.

Many of the pros in attendance helped their boys catch some fish and, more importantly, gave them some quality one-on-one time with both a mentor and a lifelong friend. These are memories that both the pro and their chosen kid will carry with them forever. It is a very special event and it continues to get more and more coverage in the area and serve as a reminder about how important it is to teach kids about the outdoors and give them a memory-filled morning on the ice.

While I did not participate in the boy’s morning myself, I did have the opportunity to take part in a fun competition that Craig had arranged for the pros in town to take part in the day before. To help with the fish fry, all the pros organized themselves into parties to bring in their ten best panfish to be weighed and then filleted to help make sure there would be plenty of fried fish for the boys to eat on the ice the next day and with three other members from the HSM team coming to town for the event and with the help of our newest team member, Oakley, we had put together a good team to try and find some big bluegills down at Stockade.

Some wormy perch and bass were caught as we searched for bluegills and crappie, but they couldn't be used for the weigh in. With plenty of snow and slush to wade around in, moving was pretty slow and the fishing areas where three of us went to wasn't the best at first, but things picked up at the end as Team HSM managed to bring in two, ten fish limits to weigh in. We finished in the top 10 of the groups.

So, it was a fun way to spend day with some of the guys from HSM, which was a great chance to get to know them a little better since we don't get many chances to hang out being so far apart and I was happy for the chance to fish with Tom, Chad, and Rich this year for their visit.

Hopefully, we'll all go out again next year and have a shot at winning this now-annual friendly competition and, more importantly, it will mean that these guys will continue to come and help inspire some underprivileged boys to get out into the outdoors and show them some good times, fresh fish, and lifelong memories and mentors that they will cherish for the rest of their lives.

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