Youth Fishing Derby to bring out winners
PEDRO — Chuck Self understands the serenity that can come from sitting by the edge of the Izaak Walton Lake fishing pole in hand watching and waiting for that fish to bite.
“Nature is wonderful out there,” Self said about the seven-acre lake off Johns Creek Road. “Just being out in the quiet.”
That’s why the upcoming Youth Fishing Derby at Izaak Walton on Saturday is so important to Self, president of the local Walton chapter.
“This is so kids can enjoy being out in nature,” he said.
This year the catch-and-release tournament will have an added bonus. Besides the trophies the young fishermen can win for the biggest fish, there will be some tagged fish sporting a blue sticker on their fins that can bring extra cash to the winners.
“If they do catch the tag fish, I will pay off,” Self said. “If they catch it, and let me see it, I’ll pay off.”
Tag fish prizes range from $10 to $50.
The local Walton chapter started in 1950 when the man-made lake was created on farm land off Township Road 140.
“The lake is based on conservation,” Self said. “Anything about keeping the waters clean, the land clean.”
Members can join by attending a chapter meeting, always on the first Saturday of the month, and then be nominated. Dues are $65.50 for an individual and $82.50 for a family.
Currently there are 150 members, many of whom camp out almost year-round at the lake to fish the blue gill, catfish and carp that are stocked there.
Usually the derby is in September, but was moved to June so it wouldn’t have to compete with the many events in the fall. Last year between 60 to 80 young fishermen and women participated in the derby.
“I am hoping for it to become bigger,” Self said. “I like seeing our place grow.”
The derby is open to youth 15 and younger. Registration is from 9 a.m. with fishing from at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A free lunch will follow
On Saturday, June 22, there will be a Gospel Sing at the lake starting at 3 p.m. Performing will be Missy Gullet, the Snyders, the Wilson family, Dave Poplin, Rick and Debbie Mays, Shelly Russel, Adam Rister, Paul Bartram, Glory Bound and Carl Payne.
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