Verona Park Fishing Derby Lures Young Anglers
County event provides a day of outdoor fun for children and parents alike.
Young fishermen and women, 15 and under, cast out their lines into Verona Park's lake Thursday, hoping to be one of the lucky winners to snag a big prize.
More than 80 children turned out to kick off the 8th Annual Essex County Fishing Derby at Verona Park.
“Our fishing derbies are an excellent opportunity for children to enjoy the historic Essex County Park System in a different and fun way,”said Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr.
About 200 fish were added for the derby by the Essex County Parks Department, said Frank Gesumaria, Athletic and Special Event Coordinator for the Essex County Parks Department. Amateur anglers were able to reel in sunnies, trout, bluegill, catfish, perch, crappies and carp.
Awards for the first fish caught by a boy was a tie between Lisle Hill IV, age 11 of Nutley and Chaucer Cook, 13 of Glen Ridge.
“I won this derby for most fish two years ago,” said Hill. “Some of them are easy to win, some aren't, but I'm just fishing for fun. It doesn't matter about winning.
The prize for first fish caught by a girl was also a tie between Melissa Fox, 3 of Cedar Grove and Kaitlin Santoro, 10 of East Hanover.
The winners for most fish caught were:
- Boys ages 5 and under – Michael Maly with 3 fish
- Girls ages 5 and under – Madison Reardon with 28 fish
- Boys ages 6 to 10 – Tyler Hill with 18 fish
- Girls ages 6 to 10 – Tie between Tailor Mills and Grace Garruto, each with 3 fish
- Boys ages 11 to 15 – Chaucer Cook with 22 fish
- Girls ages 11 to 15 – Tied between Lauren Kiwior and Alexandra Apito, each with 3 fish
Even though not every child went home with a plaque, parents like Harold Ross, Den Leader of Cub Scout Pack 10 from West Orange hopes they all left with a life lesson.
“The proverb is that if you give a kid a fish he eats for a day. If you teach a kid to fish he eats for a lifetime,” said Ross, who has participated in previous derbies with his wife Jackie and son Harold Jr. “It teaches them to appreciate the outdoors and outdoor activities and also appreciate these areas and protect the environment against pollution.”