Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Fishing Derby!

(I apologize for the seeming break in posts but my laptop was/is in the process of going to computer heaven and any readers who have experienced the same may be able to empathize, or not.)  I proceeded across Minnesota and stopped in Wisconsin for an overnight along HWY 8 at the Hawkins, WI Lions Club Park which I wasn't too impressed by and so won't review.  The next day I continued along HWY 8 into Michigan's Upper Peninsula then north on Michigan HWY 95 to the small township of Republic, Michigan.  Republic has a campground on the west edge of the town that allows free camping AND provides 15 amp electrical hookups.  I figured I'd be one of the two or three campers for the mid-July weekend.....wrong again!

Just in time for the 24th Annual Republic Fishing Derby!
Every mid-July for 24 years the town sponsors a fishing derby with prizes for the largest catches like $1000 for the biggest Walleye and $500 for the biggest perch.  Needless to say prizes of this magnitude brought out the anglers (this year estimated to be over 400) and their families, along with their RVs.

No chance of getting lonely with close-by neighbors! 
 The focal point of the Derby was an outdoor covered picnic area that doubled as both the prize award area and the food vending --great brats!

Prizes and food made the structure in the background the Derby focal point.

Republic has bodies of water on the north, west and southwest sides and the water was pretty thick with fisher-folk.

School Lake, to the southwest of Republic.
The Derby had fireworks Saturday night and a band called the "Slamtones" that people were street dancing to-- a beer tent might have given an assist to the latter activity.

I had an excellent time at the Republic Fishing Derby and all the carryings on.  The town itself was pretty hard hit back in the nineties when a nearby mineral mine shut down.  With the recent skyrocketing copper prices there was constant reference among the Derby-ites to a new copper mine a company called Eagle was planning on opening, which will provide a huge economic boost to Republic's economy.  Check they town's website for the timing of next year's 25th Republic Fishing Derby, it's a bonus to the free camping the town offers!

Thanks for reading!