Another Kankakee River Fishing Derby concluded on Sunday, and the 38th annual event was again deemed a success by Ken Munjoy, president of the Northern Illinois Anglers Association, which runs the 10-day derby.

“To just see people fishing and all the kids fishing and kids being on the Big Board, that’s what it’s all about,” Munjoy said. “It’s a family fishing event, and people plan accordingly.”

Typically, the derby sees 350 to 400 entries, and Munjoy said he’s still counting all the registrations. The derby was postponed one week due to river conditions. It still draws people to the Kankakee River, deemed by many to be one of the best waterways to fish in Illinois.

Munjoy said he heard from Quality Inn & Suites in Bradley that people from out of town were registered there just to participate in the fishing derby this past week.

“It does bring people to the area,” he said.

No more tagged fish were caught over the weekend. Over the course of the event, though, there were five tagged fish reeled in, including the biggest prize of a boat, motor and trailer by Bob Tolmer, of Bourbonnais. In 2019, six tagged fish were caught while nine were hooked in 2018.

“I’d say the average is about seven, a little more sometimes and a little less sometimes,” Munjoy said. “It was a little bit under average, but the prizes were bigger with the $1,000 prize and the boat, motor and trailer prize. That was pretty nice.”

The NIAA will host the Kankakee Fishing Derby awards night at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Bradley-Bourbonnais Sportsmen’s Club, 2672 Chippewa Drive, Bourbonnais.

“All of the first-, second- and third-place winners on the big board will be recognized, the Dollar Days winners will be recognized and the Kids Corkin’ Day winners will be recognized besides the tagged fish awards,” Munjoy said.

For more information and a list of the Derby Dollar Days and Kid’s Corkin’ Day winners, visit

Associate Editor

Chris Breach is the Associate Editor of The Daily Journal and the editor of the business section. A graduate of Indiana University, Breach has more than 25 years experience in newspapers. He can be reached at