TISHOMINGO, Okla. (KTEN) — Saturday's Blue River Trout Derby had anglers lined up along the banks of the Blue River for the first time in 2023.

The two-day event — held twice a year, in February and November — is a popular draw for outdoor enthusiasts from all over Oklahoma, Texas, and surrounding states.

"We have one guy from Utah fishing in it this time. Mostly Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas," said Scotty McCarthick, president of the Blue River Association. "We've had as many as 250 people fish in it, and as low as 125. If we can get around 200 [people] or so, we can break even, and that's all we try to do."

Anglers display a catch at the Blue River Trout Derby on February 18, 2023.

The Derby was started in the 1980s by the Johnston County Chamber of Commerce, and was only held once a year. The event has since been expanded to twice a year, and awards are presented for size and weight of fish caught.

McCarthick said Tishomingo businesses pitch in on some prizes for anglers.

Even though the Derby's competitive draw includes rewards of money, door prizes, or a trout derby trophy, the theme flowing up and down the river bank is family and tradition.

"For the past six years, me and [my son] have been doing every Derby. I love it," said Josh Penton. "The bonding... it's just an awesome time to get the kids out here and the next generation to let them get a hold to fishing."

"Seeing the people back for every Derby... we've got some of them that have been here as long as I have, and they still come and fish," McCarthick added. "That's the part I always look forward to."

Competitors in the Blue River Trout Derby on February 18, 2023.