Forty-five fishermen competed for the denizens of the deep in the Des Plaines Park District's annual Youth Fishing Derby at Mountain View Adventure Center, Saturday, June 8. The event is co-sponsored by the Izaak Walton League of Des Plaines. Anglers reeled in sunfish, bluegills, and large mouth bass ranging from 3" to 20" in the park's two retention ponds. "This is always one of our most popular family events and it is so much fun to see little kids wrestling with big fish," said Shelli Sarg, Facilities Manager.
The Youth Fishing Derby is a catch and release event, and scoring is based on the honor system. Each fisherman tallies his catch and records the length of the fish on his scorecard. Prizes are awarded in three age categories for the smallest fish, the largest fish, and the most fish caught between 9:00 and 11:00am.
In the four year old and under age group, Malick Hamidof, 3, caught the most fish, a total of eight. Frankie Bober, 4, caught the smallest fish, a 5 1/2" sunfish, and Alivia Castaneda, 4, reeled in a 17" large mouth bass. The bass was caught on a Barbie fishing pole and was the second largest fish caught at the Derby this year. In the five to eight year old category, Daniel Lee, 5, caught 18 fish, and fell in trying to put his second catch of the day back in the pond. Mia Thomas, 8, caught the largest fish, a 13" large mouth bass, and Carly Pufpaf, 6, caught the smallest, a 3" sunfish. In the senior fisherman category, ages nine to twelve, Evan Laffey, 12, Mount Prospect, caught 26 fish, the largest of his catch was a 20" large mouth bass. Laffey's sister, Emily, 10, caught a 14" large mouth bass, the third largest fish caught; and Ryan Prichusky, 9, caught the smallest fish at the Derby: a 5" sunfish.
The Des Plaines Izaak Walton league donated three fishing poles and The Illinois Department of Natural Resources donated an additional three, which were raffled off to anglers who did not win trophies. Raffle winners included: Lani Fierro, Jimmy Bober, Tony Tzoubris, Ben Williams, Aiden Heap, and Amaya Castaneda. The League members also donated t-shirts and bait, and were on hand to answer questions about equipment and fishing techniques.
Fishing is free every day in the Prairie Lakes Community Center retention ponds, and is always catch and release. Fishermen under the age of 16 do not need an Illinois Fishing license. Call 847-391-5711 for more information. Mountain View Adventure Center is located at 510 East Algonquin Road and is open Monday to Saturday, 10:00am-11:00pm and Sundays, 11:00am to 10:00pm, through August 18. Call 847-391-5733 for more information about upcoming events or visit www.DPParks.org.