Looking for spring?

Find it as you fest with flapjacks and fins.

"It's usually a pretty good sign of spring when we have the breakfast and fishing contest," said Chatfield Fire Department firefighter Luke Thieke.

He added that the Chatfield Fire Department Activities Association's 2014 Trout Classic Fishing Contest is a good time to get the kids out to fish on the day of the Minnesota trout fishing opener, Saturday, April 12.

Thieke pointed out, "Southeastern Minnesota offers some of the best trout fishing in the country." So, the fire department is inviting trout fishermen of all ages and the general public to first enjoy breakfast, then take on the trout in local streams.

If fishing is the order of the day, individuals are also invited to bring in the biggest catch for the contest.

The flapjacks will hit the griddle bright and early at 6 a.m., and diners will enjoy them with sausages, milk and coffee for $5 per person, or $2 for preschool children.

Breakfast attendees need not venture out to streams in search of trout, but will be treated to a look by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The DNR brings some trout to the hall, not to be caught, but to be admired.

Thieke stated, "There's good camaraderie during the breakfast - a lot of people look forward to seeing their friends, and a lot of people like the live fish we always bring in from the DNR, because there's always live trout in a fish tank at the hall during the entire day."

Additionally, some of Chatfield's ambulance staff will be on hand from 6 to 8 a.m. to provide free blood pressure checks and glucose screening, courtesy of the Chatfield Lions Club.

The Chatfield Fire Department Women's Auxiliary will host its third annual silent auction - to raise funds to support the fire department and community events - until the end of breakfast at 12:30 p.m., featuring gift baskets, art prints, and gift certificates from local businesses and a few from Rochester.

The fishing commences as soon as participants have their poles and tackle ready to go that morning - categories are in place for adults 18 and older, youth 13 through 17 and children 12 and under. Pre-registration can be done at Magnum Sports in Chatfield before the day of the event. Entry fees are $10 for adults, $5 for youth and $1 for children.

Final weigh-in is at 1 p.m. at the fire hall and Thieke promised prizes for the biggest fish...but not the biggest fish story.

"We'll have cash for the adults, and fishing poles and stuff for the kids," he related. He added that it's fun to see the fish that anglers have caught and see parents who have taken the time to take their children fishing.

Thieke invited the public to tuck in some pancakes, sign up for the fishing contest and support the fire department as it raises funds for general operation and equipment needs. He pointed out that everyone, fisherman or landlubber, may stop for breakfast, see the displays and watch the weigh-in and prize presentations at 1 p.m.

For more information, one may call Luke Thieke at (507) 208-0651 or email him at lucasthieke@gmail.com.