New Britain City Journal

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Fishing Frenzy


Over 300 Come out to Derby

The weather was perfect Saturday as the New Britain Parks and Recreation Department held its annual Fishing Derby at the pond in Stanley Quarter Park.

“We have over 300 fishers which is more than usual. It is a weather driven event,” said Craig Bowman, Recreation Services Coordinator. “Everyone is itching to get outside because of the long winter. It is a successful day.”

Many youths came out on opening day of fishing season to win a variety of prizes.

“We are giving out a first place prize for five age divisions. There are three different prizes per division,” said Bowman. “They are heaviest fish, longest fish and most fish caught.”

Divisions include under 5 years of age, 5 to 8 years, 9 to 12 years, and 13 to 15 years of age and 16 and over.

In addition to prizes for the division previously listed, children also had the chance to catch tagged fish.

“Some examples of prizes include tackle boxes, fishing rods, bait and tackle, fishing lures,” added Bowman. “Anyone who catches a tagged fish is able to win Cabela’s gift card or deep sea fishing trips donated by Rowledge Pond (which stocks the pond).”

The pond has bass, trout, perch and blue gills. Anyone can fish at the pond during the season and catch the over 200 trout stocked in the pond on Friday night. Both rainbow and brook trout were placed in the pond.

“They are biting today and maybe 100 were caught because it is nice weather,” said Bowman. “We want to thank our sponsors. We had a tremendous amount of support.”

Sponsors include Thomas and Gale West, Oliver Stewart and others.

Little Bait & Tackle of Cromwell was at the pond handing out free bait. Lighthouse Family Worship Center also brought volunteers to help people bait lines. Bait included, worms, corn, powerbait, trout bait and minnows.

“I fish, but not a lot,” said Sophia Zera, age 7, who caught several fish including a blue gill. “They were 6, 7 and 5 inch.”

“I caught 7 trout using worms and powerbait,” said Trevor Feliciano, 9 years old, who has been doing the derby since he was 3 years old. “I will come back with more.”

“This is the third tournament we’ve been to,” said Trinity, age 9, and Jace, age 5, Cotto who caught trout. “We have been fishing for a lot of days.”

“We saw a huge carp that was 2 ½ to 3 feet long. It came up here and then swam back out,” said Olivia Roy, age 10, who was using nightcrawlers. “It was the one that got away.”

The fishing derby is a fun, family-oriented activity for those who are an expert angler or novice fisherman.

“The fishing derby is an annual tradition in our City that marks the start of spring and the opportunity to enjoy our wonderful parks during the warmer months,” said Mayor Erin Stewart.

Children who registered by Friday, April 13th received a free gift bag at the derby. Registrants supplied their own rods, bait, and tackle to participate.