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Bait your hook for some fishing derby fun at Hidden Lakes in 2024

A man poses with a fish.
(Photo by Anthony Schalk)

Anglers of all ages will have fun competing in fishing derbies at Hidden Lakes Trout Farm in Bolingbrook this year. 

A Kids Fishing Derby is set for June 29 for children ages 5 to 15. And a Summer Sendoff All Ages Derby will be held Sept. 21. 

Each derby will feature two sessions: 7 to 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. to noon. The entrance fee per session is $5. Winners will be announced as soon as results are tallied. Prizes will be awarded for each derby’s winners. And the first 25 registrants will receive a free giveaway.

Registration is required for each derby; call 815-722-4121 or register online on the Event Calendar. The September derby will be posted on the Event Calendar about two months in advance. Same-day registration will be available for each derby if session openings remain.

“The derbies prove to be a great time for everyone involved,” said Angie Trobaugh, facility supervisor at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. “The participants appreciate a great value in the fact that you basically get your registration fee back in terms of goody bags, free bait, and all of the potential prizes to win! The kids love the trophy prizes and free snacks that are included.”

While Hidden Oaks Nature Center is closed for remodeling, The Tackle Box bait shop located at Hidden Lakes, which is located in Hidden Oaks Preserve, is open for business.

“The bait shop is such a convenient stop for everything you need including some fun local items like honey and coffee,” Trobaugh said. 

The Hidden Lakes site is a popular spot for anglers and hikers.

“The sheer beauty of Hidden Lakes is attributed to its forest, ponds, river, bridge, and all of the wildlife that comes along with those habitats making it incredibly inviting,” Trobaugh said. “The site also is easy to navigate with all its paved paths, which make it accessible. It’s just a neat gem all the way around and we look forward to the fishing season!”

The Hidden Lakes ponds will be stocked with fish prior to the derbies. Fish stocking is supported by The Nature Foundation of Will County with funding provided by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund.

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