Annual Bass Derby hooks a big turnout

July 14, 2016   ·   0 Comments

You don’t have to be a super-angler to take part in the annual Friends of Island Lake Bass Fishing Derby.

In fact, organizers encourage everyone from experienced anglers to first timers to come out for the family friendly event.                             

You don’t even need a fishing license as the event coincides with the provincial Family Fishing Week when anyone is allowed to fish in Ontario without need in a licence.                                                              

This year the Derby was held on Saturday  and Sunday, July 9 and 10, at the Island Lake Conservation area and was sponsored by Friends of Island Lake.

With several prizes and trophies up for grabs, there are categories for the largest bass, black crappie, northern pike, and perch.                 

Kids have their own competition with trophies handed out in six different categories. Fish are measured in length and weight and a score is based on a combination of the two numbers. All fish are released back into the lake.                                                                                                                    

The top prize in this year’s tournament is $2500.

“It’s a consistently popular event,” said Derby Chair Steve Murphy. “And it’s getting bigger every year. We encourage everyone to come out and try it. We had about 200 anglers out today (Saturday) and expect around the same tomorrow. None of this would be possible without all of our volunteers.”                                                                          

The event is a fundraiser for the Friends of Island Lake and they are the ones responsible for the trails, bridges, and the fishing piers that make the Conservation Area such a popular and accessible.

“Many people who can’t go out on the lake or had difficulty on shore, such as seniors or people with disabilities can fish from the piers,” Mr. Murphy explained. “The piers allow them to be out over the water.”        

It is projects like the piers that allow more people to enjoy the Conservation Area.

Sponsors for this year’s event include Brookfield Residential, Sunshine Landscape, Orangeville Nissan, and Raptor Kayak Canada.

The event wrapped up on Sunday with the presentation of winners’ trophies.

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