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Fishing Derbies

There are two kinds of Cub Scout pack fishing derbies: both are fun for boys and parents. One kind is a partner-and-son fishing trip to a nearby lake or river where adults and boys can fish off the bank or in boats. Small prizes are awarded for the biggest fish, smallest fish and best string.

The other type is a family outing with games and contests related to fishing. The ideas here are for this kind of derby.

The fishing derby committee should follow the guidelines for planning special events. Planning includes securing a site, arranging for transportation, planning activities and obtaining prizes and arranging for food and equipment. Try special promotional gimmicks such as invitations in the shape of a fish.

Make identifying signs for each contest area. Use ropes, posts, colored streamers, and colorful signs to mark game areas. Consider using a public address system to control the activities, if necessary and a tape player to provide lively music.

Suggested Fishing Derby Schedule

1:00 - 2:00 Gathering-time activities

2:00 - 3:30 Special contests

3:30 - 3:45 Awards ceremony

3:45 - 5:00 Free time for fishing

5:00 - 6:00 Meal and clean-up

Activity Suggestions

Guessing Contest :

How many fish eggs are in the jar? Use marbles for the eggs. The winner gets the jar of marbles.

Snapping Fish Game :

This game requires several fishing poles with sinkers and a piece of foam rubber attached to a 3-by-4 foot line. Also, have several mousetraps set to spring. Object of the game is to set off a trap by hitting it with the foam rubber without getting the line caught in the trap.

Special Contests

Reeling Relay :

Dens and families are arranged in relay fashion. The first player on each team has a fishing pole and reel. On signal, he places the fishing pole and reel on the ground in front of him, takes the plug and runs to a line 25 feet away, unwinding the line as he goes. He then runs back, sits on the ground, and reels in the line. The next member follows and so on, until all have played. First team through wins.

Fishing Relay:

The "fishpond" is a large cardboard box turned upside down, with slots cut in the bottom. In each slot, insert a "fish" cut from cardboard. On each fish mark a length and weight for it. For each team, you need a cane pole with a 3-foot string and a bent paper clip for the hook. Team members line up relay fashion, with the first member holding the pole. On signal he runs to the fishpond and catches a fish. A judge records the length and weight. The team with the greatest weight total of fish wins.

Rowing Relay - Go fishing in the lake :

Players on each team sit or kneel in a large cardboard box and propel themselves to the goal line and back by using two short broomsticks with rubber tips.


Prizes could be given for biggest fish caught, littlest fish, most fish caught, longest fish caught, etc. Inexpensive fishing tackle might be used for prizes.

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