Jul 23, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
71 registered participants
277 fish caught
Most Fish Caught by all age groups: Alex Doughty – 62 fish
Smallest Fish Caught by all age groups: Madison Evans – 2.75 inches
Largest Fish Caught in Each Age Group:
4-5 year olds: Paige Green – 15.5 inches
6-7 year olds: Francesca Erdosh – 15.25 inches
8-9 year olds: Kenneth Wilson – 13.0 inches
10-11 year olds: Alex Doughty – 17.25 inches
12-12 year olds: Amber Oberlender – 18 inches
More than 70 children from seven different states spent three hours last Saturday morning catching nearly 300 fish during the annual youth fishing derby at the Skaneateles Conservation Area.
Young anglers from as far away as Texas and Oregon came out to the Bill Pavlus Pond for the 12th annual event, around which many parents schedule their summer trips to Skaneateles.
Don Leslie, a Skaneateles village resident, said his grandson, Kenneth Wilson, age 8, from Houston, Texas, “came up here just to fish.” Wilson actually caught the largest fish in his 8-9 year-olds age group with a 13-inch bass. “This [derby] is just a great idea,” Leslie said.
In all, 71 registered participants in five age groups caught 277 fish during the derby, with the smallest fish, caught by Madison Evans, at 2.75 inches; the largest fish, caught by Amber Oberlender, at 18 inches; and the most fish caught, by Alex Doughty, at 62 fish.
“This is such a wonderful event. I just love to see all the families out here and to hear the kids screams of ‘I got one!’” said Jeff Harrop, a third year volunteer, who was working one of the half-dozen measuring tables around the pond. “This is just a hidden treasure.”
Schuyler Graham, of Mandana, was at the derby watching two of his grandchildren fish. “This event just draws from all over the nation — everybody always wants to come back,” he said.
In fact the derby is not just a Skaneateles event but has become intercontinental, with children and parents from California, Oregon, Texas, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Maine participating this year.
“We come every year. We try to schedule our vacation to Skaneateles for the derby — and to visit Nana,” said Kirsten Erdosh, from California, with a laugh, who’s two daughters, Francesca and Gwendolyn, participated in the event. Francesca also caught the largest fish in her 6-7 year-olds age group with a 15.25 inch largemouth bass.
Nana, or Nancy Peck, from Skaneateles, said the derby was “a wonderful event.” Then, turning to Bill Pavlus, who not only created the derby in 2000 but also created the pond at which it was held, said, “And it’s wonderful that it has your name on it.”
“I’m very pleased at the turnout,” Pavlus said, “The Town Parks Department did a great job trimming up the pond for the derby, and we appreciate the effort,” he said.
Pavlus also was eager to spread his praise around to the volunteers working the measuring tables, the 21 local businesses who donated food and prizes to the event, the Skaneateles Rotary who built the pavilion in 2005, and SAVES who has had an EMT at every event since the beginning.
“This is a great event, everything’s been good. I’ve put more worms on hooks than anything,” said SAVES EMT Mark Stebbins.
First-year measuring station volunteer Hannah Harrop — whose father, Jeff, was across the pond at another station — said she remembered her father talking about the derby in years past. “I’m so glad I came out this year. It’s fantastic.”
The Harrops also had a friendly father-daughter competition going during the derby to see whose side of the pond caught the biggest fish. The winner? Jeff — who measured Francesca Erdosh’s 15.25-inch bass.
“I get bragging rights,” he said. “And the loser gets to clean up all the dead worms around the pond.”
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.