The early ‘worm’ got the fish.
“Fourth cast,” reported Shawn Beaumont, indicating a nifty 18.75-inch bass, weighing in (on his scale) at just under four pounds. “So it was like quarter after six.”
Beaumont wasn’t actually using a worm, rather a flip-n-jig, applied judiciously to the waters at Lake Lisgar’s northern extremity. Beaumont inserted the feisty bass into his live well at the front end of the Tillsonburg Kiwanis Club Kids, Cops and Canadian Tire Fishing Derby, but it would stand up as the biggest bass – and fish caught and released – when closing time (12 noon) rolled around.
It wasn’t without challengers though, a 17” bass courtesy of Jake V. and a third-place 16.75-inch entry caught by Gord Underhill.
“There are some big bass in here,” said Frank Kempf, ‘cops’ representative and a member of the Lake Lisgar Revitalization Project (LLRP). “And bigger than that, there are bass over six pounds in here.
“I’ve also heard of bass over eight, but unless you see it, you know how fish stories get bigger every year.”
In conjunction with significant water improvement efforts, the LLRP has been responsible for stocking 700 rainbow trout in the lake, but Kempf wasn’t shocked more hadn’t been checked in as of 10 a.m. by fishers, the majority of whom were operating either from shore or one of the lake’s docks.
“They’ll be hunkered down somewhere where it’s a little cooler.”
Kiwanis President Mike Dean was hunkered down at the check-in table, thrilled with a total of 139 participants (84 kids, 55 adults) keeping he and his team of volunteers busy. The level of activity also impressed Joanne Vaughn, Co-ordinator of the Kids, Cops and Canadian Tire Fishing Days Program through the non-profit Bob Izumi Fishing Forever organization. Vaughn checked in herself, en route to derby stops in Norwich and Caledonia the same day, three of over 20 events scheduled throughout the province for free fishing weekends.
“This is fabulous, a great location for the kids here,” she said. “Pleased the Kiwanis club has continued the tradition and thanks to Frank and the revitalization committee for all their efforts in the lake.”
As mentioned, at the end of the day, Beaumont’s bass stood up in the adult division. For the kids, Kaleb Beaumont headed the trout division; Braden Clark was tops with a 9.5-inch perch and Gioranni Pedler caught the only turtle. Alex Pressey finished up with the most fish (106) followed by Corey Cornish (48), Caden Montgomery (46) and Aleks Hall (39).
In closing, Dean thanked a list of sponsors, including Advanced Automotive, the Kiwanis Club, Free Time Sports, Cops, Kids and Canadian Tire, Canadian Tire Tillsonburg, M&J Tire, the Knights of Columbus, Cindy Franklin (Shimano); and Schooner’s Gallery in Port Burwell.
“It was an awesome day, we had lots of kids that were happy and lots of parents there with their kids – which was all we wanted,” he concluded.