Ice fishing derby get kids active outside in winter - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Ice fishing derby get kids active outside in winter

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WINONA, Minnesota (WXOW) - The Winona chapter of the Izaak Walton League organized a family fishing derby Saturday morning.

The League gave kids and their parents a chance to get on the ice and learn a new sport.

Three-year-old Dakota Rayfield knew what he wanted.

"Fish," Rayfield exclaimed.

He didn't have much luck.

"Reel him in, reel him in," said Rayfield's fishing partner, Michael Komp. "He got off. Next one."

Saturday Rayfield learned to ice fish, he's still working on learning fisherman's patients.

But he's learning and spent the day outdoors. That's all Komp, president of the Will Dilg Chapter of the Izaak Walton League, wanted.

"This is what I live for," Komp said. "I love seeing the little ones get out, get fired up about something that is so near and dear to myself. And, it's great to pass that on to the younger generation."

More than 50 kids, ages 3 to 16, participated in the Family Fishing Derby.

Family even extended into the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Rayfield's a member; Komp's a mentor.

"There's something about the outdoors that changes kids," Komp said. "Getting the kids out here doing something that's not plugged in, not inside, you see a totally different side out of these kids and I love that."

Auguste Taide, 10, said he's never felt anything like the rush he gets catching a fish.

"Epic. I had the funnest time today," Taide said.

It's a new love for a new hobby. But most kids won't take it as far as Taide, who kissed his bass before throwing him back in the lake.

Komp said today a handful of children caught their first fish; another handful caught their first fish through the ice.

The grand prize for the largest catch is an hand ice auger that can be used to open holes on the ice for future fishing expeditions.

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