Lion’s Club Fishing Derby

Lion’s Club Fishing Derby

7 Miles North of Buffalo on I-90


For the past 30 plus years, the Lion’s Club Fishing Derby has been offering a chance for people to come out and enjoy Lake DeSmet during Memorial Day Weekend, and possibly win a prize. Fishermen and women of all ages compete to bring in the largest fish by length or weight in various species categories, or catch tagged fish for cash, ranging up to $3,000. The event has grown over the past few decades, and now the club offers up to $50,000 in cash and prizes, each year, to be earned by catching tagged fish, or by catching the biggest fish, in each category of species found in the lake.

During the three-day event, tagged fish usually value from $100 to $2,000 and there is always a raffle with prizes that range from coolers and new fishing poles to grand prizes like side-by-side vehicles. Other events include the annual children’s casting contest and a special fishing contest for children younger than 13, that includes cash prizes. The concession stand is in the Lion’s Club Pavilion near the lake in the Mikesell Potts Recreation Area where the fish are officially weighed in. Proceeds from the event help fund a variety of Lion’s Club projects, which include helping people of the county receive eye care.