Six anglers took home top-category prize money at the Lures N Lines Spring Trout Derby while raising $5,000 for the Bruce Peninsula Sportsmen Association’s hatchery program.
Gary Fischer won the big prize by hooking an 11.57-pound rainbow trout and taking home $1,750. Curtis Hewitt took second place in the rainbow category for $450 while another Fischer fish weighed in good enough for third place and an extra $350.
Dennis Kuhl’s 14.10-pound lake trout earned him $900 while Bentley Kuhl’s 9.7-pound lake trout won the top youth fish and a $700 cash prize.
Lorenzo Pellizzari earned $850 for top salmon with a 10.58-pound fish that was 32.5-inches long.
BPSA president Kevin Harders said over 400 anglers took part in the tournament, selling over $10,000 in tickets.
“We’ll absolutely do this again,” Harders said.
More prize sponsors signed on for next year’s tournament already, he added.
The tournament also featured 73 draw prizes, four hidden weights and a POW Castings Big Fish of the Day prize for each of the 10 days anglers were on the water.
The inaugural spring derby had been scheduled to take place between May 7 and 16, but organizers postponed it due to the provincial stay-at-home order until May 28, when restrictions began to loosen for golf and tennis. The BPSA executive then voted to proceed with the derby.
Single tickets were sold at $25 while families paid $60. There were a total of 750 tickets up for grabs. Half of the over $10,000 raised from derby ticket sales is now headed to help the Bruce Peninsula Sportsmen Association hatchery program.
COVID-19 protocols were in place and the tournament had the support of the Grey Bruce Health Unit, Harders said.
The derby fishing grounds were bounded by Vail’s Point near Balaclava in the south to the eastern point of Smokey Head White Bluffs Provincial Park of Cape Chin in the north.
The grounds included the waters of Owen Sound Bay to the Gitche Namewikwedong -10th Street Bridge, Eddie Sargent Parkway Bridge over the Pottawatomi River as well as Colpoys Bay, Hope Bay, Isthmus Bay, and of Griffith, White Cloud and Hay islands.
The Bruce Peninsula Sportsman’s Association is one of the longest privately run community hatcheries in Ontario, in operation since 1962. The club stocking program is comprised of rainbow trout and brown trout. On average the BPSA contributes close to 145,000 fish a year to the waters of Colpoys Bay.