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Sport Fishing Derby

#gonefishing

It’s no secret that I am a fan of sport fishing. Upon hearing about a spring high school fishing tournament, I quickly got permission to enter a school team. A mixed group of 25 student-anglers, from across all grades, registered to compete. We now had to wait, wait, wait until the end of May.

Fishing Team Tryouts
Colleagues ribbed me about tryouts, team jerseys, and practices. My thought was to practice our casting into hula hoops on the soccer field, but the early spring weather proved to be too wet and muddy.

Educast Fishing Tournament
Since 2004, the Educast Fishing Tournament has introduced hundreds of high school students to the sport of fishing and encouraging careers in wildlife conservation. On a group of private ponds south of Aylmer, over 1,600 students registered to fish over the two days of the tournament. The top ten finishers each day get invited to a Pro-Am Bass tournament at Turkey Point in June.

At 6:45 am on a wet and dismal day in May, our team, volunteer Mr. Jer Zandberg, and our tackle left HD. At 9:30, the starting horn blew, and the students scattered, all looking for the best spot to find the biggest catch. By 10:30 the rain had stopped and the bite had slowed down, but the eagerness continued.

The closing horn blew at 1:30, and we were eager for the results.

Early in the day, Noah DeVries had reeled in a 13 lb carp. Tournament rules state, however, that carp weight would only count if caught along with a bass or a pike. Both these species proved elusive. Had he brought in a bass or a pike, Noah would have dominated the competition as the eventual winner had a combined total of a little over 10 lbs. Noah won a trolling motor for having the heaviest catch of the day.

Calvin DeKok came extremely close, missing 10th place by one ounce with his 7 lb 7 oz pike caught just before the closing horn (almost diving into the pond to grab it by hand after it cut his line). Most of our team has some success, and a good day was had by all.

Consensus suggests this will be an annual event.

Leon Hordyk, Teacher & Angler
Hamilton District Christian High