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Willow River fishing contest: Youngsters set the pace

Andrew Wright, 5, Logan, Utah, with help from his dad, Scott, registers the first fish caught in the Willow River State Park Kids Fishing Contest Saturday morning. Andrew went on to catch a total of seven crappies to win the contest in the under 6 age group. Photo by Jon Echternacht

A somewhat chilly and overcast day couldn't cool off the hot hand of Andrew Wright, 5, Logan, Utah, who won the fishing contest in the under 6 age group at Willow River State Park Saturday.

Wright, the son of former resident Scott Wright and grandson of longtime resident Paul Wright, pulled in the first fish of the contest with a 10-inch, 265-gram crappie he caught off the Little Falls dam.

When asked what he caught the first fish with, he replied, "My fishing pole." Dad quickly interjected that the boy was using minnows, which proved to be the most productive bait.

A few minutes later, young Andrew was back at the weigh-in table with another crappie, a bit smaller, at 187 grams, and quickly was tagged "The Crappie Kid," by onlookers.

He registered four crappies before Jack Jenson, 4, Hudson, logged in a 108.56 gram bluegill. Jenson registered another bluegill at 120.33 grams later, and became known as "the Bluegill Guy."

Adrik Einum, 4, River Falls, caught a 148.9 gram crappie to place in the contest.

Wright continued to sizzle. He brought in a total of seven crappies including his biggest, a 282-gram, 10.75-inch lunker about a minute before the 45-minute contest ended.

"He can catch fish out of a mud hole," his dad said.

For a $1 entry fee, the Wright family collected a tasty dinner, thanks to the piscatorial expertise of grandson Andrew.

A member of the St. Croix Sportsman's Alliance cleaned and bagged the crappies. Andrew, on the other hand, new rod and reel in hand for winning the age-group contest, set off to do some more fishing. Meanwhile the competition continued for 6-9-year-olds and later a 10-12-year-old division.

In the spirit of fair play and to spread the wealth, Andrew was awarded first place, Adrik Einum second place for biggest fish and Jack Jenson took third.

A total of 55 kids entered the contest, sponsored by the St. Croix Sportsman's Alliance and the Willow River OWLs.

See the attached Photo Gallery for more pictures from the fishing contest, which are also available for purchase online by clicking on the "Buy a Photo" icon on the right side of the Home page or click on this link: and go to the July 23rd album.