October 21, 2014

Smallest City Hosts Big Fun!

Omer Sucker Festival 2011

Amy Rich
James Bailey, 9, of Gladwin stretches to capture the sucker fish caught in the big net. Fishing off of the raft was one of the most appealing parts of the festival for Bailey.
Amy Rich
Sucker fishing nets of different colors, shapes and sizes lined the river in Omer during the 2011 Sucker Festival. This metal contraption came complete with a handle to make pulling up the net easier.
Amy Rich
Ron Smith and Shad Garner of Hortonville fillet fish and get them ready to be cooked right on the river. Smith and Garner spent as much time laughing and joking as they did cleaning fish.
Amy Rich
Although the big nets were often pulled up empty on Saturday, local fishermen reported a better haul on Friday night. The fish, they said, are easier to net at night.
Amy Rich
Aaron McLavy, 5, of Harrison, pulls a fish out of the net with some help from his dad, Todd McLavy.
Amy Rich
Zeb Wilson, 12, of Omer decides which of his fish to take to the weigh in tent. Each contestant was allowed to weigh two fish and enter their biggest in the kids' contest.
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Nets were lowered into the Rifle River starting at 12 a.m. Firday, April 1 to kick off Omer's annual Sucker Festival. Locals and fisherman from around Michigan gathered throughout the weekend to catch sucker fish.

"They're real bony, but they taste good," said Shad Garner of Hortonville as he cleaned and prepared some of his catch by the river.

This year's event showed a shift toward more family friendly activities, with a new children's fishing contest and age appropriate prizes for each of the four age categories.

In the end, said Sue Oliver of Omer, who helped organize the event, "we just hope everyone who came out had a good time."

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