Fly fishing rod

Buda’s young fishermen take part in a derby

By Brittany Anderson

BUDA — It was a successful day of fishing for some of Buda’s younger anglers.

The 13th annual Buda Fun Fish took place at Bradfield Village Pond on June 4, where dozens of children lined up against the pond to show off their fishing skills and compete for one of five prizes.

Parents and grandparents supported their young anglers and children of all ages enjoyed participating in the Buda Fun Fish.

The event, with the support of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the City of Buda and numerous sponsors and volunteers, was started more than ten years ago by Vincent Lecca on a “small budget” when was a volunteer for TPWD. Lecca said his goal with Fun Fish is to give back to his community, share his passion for fishing with children of all ages, and keep communities connected to outdoor activities.

“We’re here to get your kids off electronics, educate them about conservation and the different activities and organizations in their community, and of course, educate them about fishing,” Lecca said.

Once the hour-long derby began, anglers were instructed to shout “fish” if they snagged a fish. One of the event volunteers would then help retrieve the fish safely, record information about its size and the angler who caught it, and then release it.

Five engraved trophies were awarded to the best dressed anglers one and two (matching father-daughter outfit and Cub uniform), most fish caught (14), biggest fish (an 11-inch largemouth bass) and the biggest trophy for the most controversial prize, the smallest fish (a 3.25 inch bluegill). Each prize also came with a “loot bag” containing items like a tackle box, hat, dry bag, and fly fishing gear.

Additional raffle prizes were also won by a handful of anglers, with gift cards and certificates for businesses ranging from $5 to $50. There were also hands-on educational stations before the derby started.

June 4 also marked Free Fishing Day in Texas. Every year on the first Saturday in June, Texas residents can fish in state-owned public water bodies without needing the license, permit, or approval usually required.