Published June 27, 2019
By MICHAEL GEOFFRION SCANNELL
NORTH READING — Mostly local families brought their rods and reels to the 22nd Annual Children’s Fishing Derby at Clarke Park on Martin’s Pond on June 15.
Sponsored jointly by the Wildside Bass Angler’s Club and the Martin’s Pond Association, this annual three-hour event is a favorite with all young anglers. Children ages 3 to 16 were eligible to enter for free due to the generosity of the sponsors. Participants brought their own rods, bait and a bucket. Registrants received a free hat and all competitors and their families received a free lunch of burgers, dogs, chips, watermelon and drinks.
As usual, trophies and prizes were awarded. There were prizes for Catch of the Day and additional prizes in three age categories. Fishing experience was not necessary and members of the Wildside Bass Club were on hand to give lessons, advice and to tell tales of the one that got away.
Peter MacLellan of Wildside Bass said the club was formed in 1990. Wildside is part of the Massachusetts Bass Federation. MacLellan said, “The fish that were caught included largemouth bass, crappie, Golden China and perch. Children can fish anywhere but from the shoreline only.”
MacLellan took time in his remarks to acknowledge longtime Martin’s Pond resident Wayne Kittredge who passed away several years ago, thanking him once again for donating a number of hand-carved wooden fishing lures. These have been given to all the first place winners for many years, including this year. MacLellan said he had enough left for this year’s winners and three more for next year.
MacLellan continued, “I’m happy and delighted to be back. I want to thank all the parents for being outside with their children.”
Five-year-old Hunter Saltzman of North Reading won first prize in the 3- to 7-year-old age category. He caught two sunfish but won with a bluegill.
Hunter said, “It was the best day of my life!” Later, he told his dad, “It was the first time I tried and I won a trophy!”
The Fishing Derby was held a week earlier than usual and turnout this year was lighter, with 29 kids from seven towns entering the competition.
The winners were:
3-7 Age Category
• 1st – Hunter Saltzman – Blue Gill – .40 – age 5, North Reading
• 2nd – Jet Bottelsen – Black Crappie – .34 – age 6 – Stoneham
• 3rd – Derek Holloran – Blue Gill – .32 – age 7 – Stoneham
8-11 Age Category
• 1st – Mikayla Hurley – Large Mouth Bass – 1.30 lbs. – age 11, North Reading
• 2nd Ryan Downs – Cat Fish – .72 – age 9, North Reading
• 3rd – Michael Hurley – Blue Gill – .27 – age 10, North Reading
12-16 Age Category
• 1st – Brendan Heos – Cat Fish 1.39 lbs. – age 12, Wilmington
• 2nd – Daniel Onessimo – Large Mouth Bass – 1.12 lbs., age 13, North Reading
• 3rd – Chad Cao – Golden Shiner – .41, age 14, Andover
Catch of the Day
• Ian Heos – Catfish – 1.71 lbs., age 10, Wilmington.