Derby set to return for Father’s Day

It would be an understatement to say that I have been looking forward to spring and the beginning of fishing season

It would be an understatement to say that I have been looking forward to spring and the beginning of fishing season. Having said that, I also cannot believe that my annual sturgeon fishing trip on the Fraser has come and gone.

This year’s fishing was beyond belief. We managed to get at least one fish to the boat everyday. On the last day we brought four to the boat. They were all in the six to seven foot, 250 to 300 pound range. The thing that made it all so amazing was that one of my fish sounded twice. It just came sailing out of the water and rolled right in front of me.

If I hadn’t been so busy hanging on for dear life, I might have been able to warn Cory – my fishing partner, guide and jet boat owner/operator – so that he could grab his Go-Pro and video the whole thing, but it all happened so fast. And yet, for those seconds while it was happening, everything sort of happened in slow motion. All I know is that it was pretty amazing and pretty exciting.

It’s also hard to believe that the 18th Annual Salmon Arm Kid’s Fishing Derby is just around the corner.

At least the water levels on Shuswap Lake are on the rise and last weekend I saw a couple of pretty good-sized carp swimming around in the waters at the end of the docks at Marine Park.

Everything is in place and ready to go on Father’s Day, June 15. The derby is open to all children 12 years of age and under and there is no cost to enter. Registration takes place Sunday morning, beginning at 6 a.m., at the end of the wharf, and the only restrictions are that each child must be accompanied by an adult, and each child must wear a life-jacket or PFD. As in past years, there will be some life-jackets available for children who do not have one. Only coarse fish are eligible for trophies and prizes, and fish must be caught and played by the child. Adults, however, can assist in netting the fish.

An awards ceremony will take place immediately following the derby at the end of the wharf, where the trophies and major prizes will be handed out. The angler who catches the largest fish will receive the Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union – W. J. (Bill) Murray Memorial Trophy, an IM-6 graphite rod and reel outfit and a $200 RESP bond. They will also get to take their whole family on an all-expenses paid, weekend fishing trip to Beaver Lake Lodge which will include accommodations, boat and motor and $100 worth of groceries. Second and third place winners will receive trophies, rod and reel outfits and RESP bonds.

The angler who lands the first fish of the derby will receive the Westside Stores Trophy, a rod and reel outfit, a $100 Rotary Club sponsored RESP bond and a $100 gift certificate from Westside Stores.

And the angler who manages to catch the most fish throughout the course of the morning will receive the City of Salmon Arm Trophy, a rod and reel outfit, a $100 Rotary Club sponsored RESP bond, as well as a one-year pass to the swimming pool.

Two anglers who catch fish closest to predetermined “secret weights” will each win a brand new shiny mountain bike. This year there will also be the special Parent Appreciation draw prize.

Adults receive one draw ticket for each child they register. At the awards ceremony, one lucky person will win $500 worth of groceries for bringing their kid out to the derby. There will also be a whole whack of other great prizes given out throughout the derby.

Who knows, there might even be a few good fish stories to be told afterwards.