MARYVILLE, Mo. — The Maryville Optimist Club hosted its annual Kids Fishing contest at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park on July 6.

Twenty-eight youngsters — from toddlers to teens — participated in the event, which included free live bait and shaved ice treats from a Kool Kats concession trailer.

While children fished for the “big one,” club members walked the lakeshore near the City Boat Ramp, measuring catches and documenting the number of fish caught, which included a selection of bluegill, crappie, bass and catfish.

The contest was divided into two age categories, 0-9 years and 10-15 years. A new rod and reel was presented to each age-group winner for the largest fish caught, the most fish caught and the smallest fish caught.

In the 0-9 years age group winners included Wyatt Shelton, Conception Junction, largest fish, 17½ inches; Treyven Halbrook, Tarkio, most fish, 22; and Sage Sundermann, Tarkio, smallest fish, 3 inches.

Winning participants in the 10-15 age group included Echo Warner, Savannah, largest fish, 17 inches; Ty Moyer, Maryville, most fish, 6; and Isaiah Marrow, Maryville, smallest fish, 5 inches.

Five other participants had their names drawn for free fishing gear. They included Jaxson Smith, Fairfax; Conner Volner, Maitland; Chaselynn Wymore, Maryville;  DezQuan Mincy, Skidmore;  and Rylan Brady, Maryville.

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Staff writer Anthony Brown can be reached at or by calling the newspaper at 660.562.2424.