When I think of fishing it freaks me out a little bit. I lived in a rural area and always loved biking and hiking through the woods and swimming but I never had anyone around me when I was growing up who was much of a fisherman.
When I was about 12 years old, my friend Pat took me out to a pond to show me how to fish. He methodically went over his process with me and then we were ready for our day of fishing. He brought back his line and cast out far into the water — well, that was his intent — instead, the fish hook was caught in my neck. Rather than fishing, we went back to his house for his mother to help wrestle this weapon out of my skin.
That was my first and last fishing trip, but this weekend has me rethinking things.
On Sunday, June 17th, the Port Colborne & District Conservation Club held their 15th Annual Kid’s Fishing Derby and you would have to say with 225 children registered it was a success!
I had to take a few minutes to find a parking spot because the place was swarming with excited families and volunteers looking for the next big catch.
Port Colborne is a small city on Lake Erie with a tradition of being a fishing haven, the residents (and their children) have fishing in their blood.
Last year when the World Fishing Network held its contest for the Ultimate Fishing Town in all of Canada, Port Colborne was just slightly edged out of first place.
After more than 240 towns throughout Canada were nominated in March, a preliminary round of voting in April narrowed the field to 20 finalists. The competition quickly became a two-town race between a pair of Ontario towns more than 11 hours apart. Chapleau and Port Colborne traded places atop the leader board on a daily basis, but in the end Chapleau earned the title by the slimmest of margins.
The local passion for fishing was on display as families came out to HH Knoll Park on Father’s Day to enjoy the festivities.
This event was designed to provide children who are 13 and younger exposure to the joy of fishing and the Catch and Release derby event provided everyone a chance at prizes.
Kathy and Scott Mcquire served as organizers for this years event and with an army of more than 20 volunteers and over 60 commercial sponsors they provided a day of fun that included prizes (200 loot bags) and a free lunch for more than 400 people. Even the worms were free!
I was reminded that this coming weekend, June 22-24 they will be hosting their International Walleye Tournament with more than 100 boats registered.
Young or old can find fishing fun off the shores or Niagara’s South Coast — and you can be rest assured that nobody caught me in the neck with a fishing hook!