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Junior Fishing Derby captivates

NORTH CANAAN — The pond was waiting for them.

Sixty anglers ranging up to age 15 came with their rods, reels and high hopes to catch the biggest fish at the Northwest CT Rod and Gun Club Junior Fishing Derby on Sunday, May 21 in North Canaan.

Lurking beneath the green surface, the fish — including 75 freshly stocked trout and six brown trout of “good size” — played their part for the families that came from the Northwest Corner and beyond in New York state for this annual derby.

Young and old came together for this family event. Remi White, 2, of Ravena, New York, caught his first fish. Hoisted by Derek Palmer, of Copake Falls, New York, the young fisherman posed for the camera.

King Jordan of North Canaan, set up with his children on a small peninsula. They come every year, and on Sunday his children hit the jackpot as Bentley, 10, and his sister, Bria, 2, caught fish at the same time.

Hudson Lavoie, 3, from Goshen, a junior member of the club, reeled in a 14 1/2 inch bass with his spinning gear. The fish seemed flagged as Hudson backed up on the bank to get the fish on shore. His father Aaron Lavoie gave an assist as Dave Jeroski of Winsted appeared out of nowhere with a measuring stick.

Families circled the pond, relaxing in foldout chairs. Parents alternately watched their children cast worm-loaded barbless hooks  with varying degrees of skill. There were plenty of teaching  moments, and lots of running around. The youngest in attendance was two weeks old, a newborn included with a Litchfield family’s entourage.

Every competitor went home with a prize. Those who bagged the biggest fish won a new bike. Top winners were Julia Maroney, 5, (14.5” bass), Beau Morel, 3, (15.5” bass), Hunter Lyon, 6,  (15.5” bass), Emma Sprague, 13, (13.5” bass), Dustin Blair, 11, (13” bass). The bait was provided by Jim’s Bait and Tackle in East Canaan.

“I grew up coming here,” said Holly Hunt, a member of the board who started coming with her father as a child.

“It’s intergenerational,” she said.

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