LOUISBURG – Tom Minster was all smiles as he reeled in a 12-inch bass from Louisburg Lake on Saturday, June 15. The 6-year-old boy was among 120 youth participating in the 24th annual Louisburg Fishing Derby that morning.

Tom comes by fishing naturally.

A week earlier, his 18-year-old brother Eli Minster and Eli’s partner Brock Bila, both 2019 graduates of Louisburg High School, took fourth place in the 2019 Kansas BASS Nation High School Championship at Wilson (Kan.) Reservoir, with a two-day catch of 27.25 pounds. BASS stands for Bass Anglers Sportsman Society.

The LHS fishing duo qualified to compete in the high school division of the BASS Nation national championships, scheduled for Aug. 8-10 at Kentucky Lake in Paris, Tenn.

Tom’s sister, Hannah, 5, enjoys fishing as well, Bodie Minster said as he looked at his daughter.

“She likes fishing with Eli. It seems like every time Eli takes her fishing, she catches a bigger fish than he does,” Bodie Minster said, grinning.

Other parents lined the shores, some in lawn chairs, offering encouragement to their kids and sometimes a helping hand with baiting a hook or plucking a fish out of the water.

Holly Yager, 12, beamed as she held up a sunfish, and five-year-old Evan Kirkaldie hauled in a 13-inch big mouth a little farther down the shore.

Evan’s mom, Lindsay Kirkaldie, was delighted and relieved.

“Last year, we couldn’t leave until he caught a fish,” Lindsay said. “We were here until 1 p.m.”

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or doug.carder@miconews.com.

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