Arts & Entertainment

Harbinger of Spring: Annual Fishing Derby on Saturday at Southard Park in Basking Ridge

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Participants wait for their fish to be measured by the recreation department organizers at a previous Fishing Derby at Southard Park in Basking Ridge. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
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A family casts its lines at a previous Bernards Township Fishing Derby at Southard Park. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
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Little Southard Park becomes the center of Bernards Township's annual Fishing Derby at the end of the school district's spring break each year. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
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BERNARDS TWP., NJ - One of the local signs of spring _ the annual Fishing Derby at Southard Park in northern Basking Ridge at a pond stocked with trout _ is scheduled to be held from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. this Saturday, April 21.

Kids and their families should bring their own poles and bait, but no license is needed. Many participants bring buckets to hold their catch.

The Bernards Township Department of Parks & Recreation each spring presents the fishing derby at the end of the school district's spring vacation. Prizes are given out for the biggest fish in multiple categories.

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No sign up is needed. Southard Park is on North Maple Avenue, with the entrance on the right north of the Bernards Township Library.

The family event is a traditional wrap-up to the week of spring break in Bernards Township schools. The derby is on again this week, even though township schools had a drastically shortened spring vacation this week after storms and power outages closed schools this spring to exceed the allotted three snow days in this year's school calendar.

The Fishing Derby will be on rain or shine.

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