Father’s Day Fishing Derby at War Eagle Mill

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War Eagle Mill celebrated dads with the first Father's Day Fishing Derby with prize for the largest, smallest and ugliest fish caught in War Eagle Creek.

Liz Kapsner, marketing and sales coordinator for the mill, said the ultimate goal was to start a tradition.

"If we can keep this going every year, it's something that they do with their fathers and come out to the mill every Father's Day," Kapsner said. "So I just think of memories in the making."

Kapsner said she enjoyed watch the dads have quality time with their children.

"They're having a good time, they're teaching their kids how to fish so it's an opportunity to do that as well," Kapsner said.

Bella Vista's John Hassion fished with his son Graham, 12. Graham said it was his idea to celebrate it at War Eagle Creek because it's the perfect place for his dad.

"I just decided to because I know he likes to be outdoors," Graham Hassion said.

Both father and son were in the competitive spirit and they won for the largest fish, which was a less-than-whopping 9 ounces. John Hassion taught his son his tricks by using artificial bate.

"Something shiny that will get their attention and aggravate them because bass have a temper," John Hassion said.

Spencer Avery and his 9-year-old daughter Kayla were visiting her grandparents in Northwest Arkasas and decided to stop by the mill. Avery said fatherhood has its ups and downs as he found out when he had to duck to avoid one of his daughter's errant casts, but it is rewarding nonetheless.

"I just enjoy being with my kids and seeing the part of me coming out of my kids and my kids are kind of funny like me so they make me laugh for the most part," Spencer Avery said.

Mia Dence, 7, caught the day's smallest fish, which was just four inches long and not heavy enough to register a weight. Mike Carney caught a catfish, which was judged to be the ugliest fish.