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Claremore Families Kick Off Independence Day With Kids' Fishing Derby

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Zebco donated 425 fishing poles. By 7:30 a.m., they were gone. Zebco donated 425 fishing poles. By 7:30 a.m., they were gone.
Victor Fuhs and his father were there to pass on the love of fishing to Victor's son, Chase. Victor Fuhs and his father were there to pass on the love of fishing to Victor's son, Chase.
Right next to Chase, 4-year-old Brighton was reeling them in. Right next to Chase, 4-year-old Brighton was reeling them in.
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma -

It was a perfect morning to kick off Fourth of July celebrations at Lake Claremore, and folks turned out by the hundreds.

Family and fishin' are an Independence Day tradition in Claremore. The kids' fishing derby has kicked off the town's celebration for more than three decades, and this year, it was bigger than ever.

Zebco donated 425 fishing poles. By 7:30 a.m., they were gone.

"I think it's going great. We've had over 540 kids show up," said Lake Ranger Dave Daniel. "I think the sport of fishing is in everybody in Oklahoma's blood, you know? Its a big deal here."

It certainly is for the Fuhs family. Dad, Victor, and grandpa were there Thursday morning to pass on the love of the sport to the next generation.

"Beautiful day like today, it would be a shame to be stuck inside," said Victor Fuhs.

And 8-year-old Chase had high hopes of reeling in a big one. But after an hour, his efforts had produced only a turtle, while just beside him, 4-year-old Brighton was reeling them in.

And across the lake, 10-year-old Ethan landed what he hoped would be a prize winning catfish.

He said his grandma taught him to fish. When asked what tips she gave him, Ethan said, "Use worms and be patient."

And patience is at the heart of this holiday tradition that provides time away from schedules, from the everyday rush.

"It's so great to just slow down and enjoy some one-on-one time with both my dad and my son," Victor said. "It's just throwing a worm out there and telling lies."

And what would an Independence Day celebration be without fireworks? They'll go off at Lake Claremore just as soon as the sun goes down.

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