The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 19, 2013

Fishing derby draws hundreds to Conneaut

By WARREN DILLAWAY - warren@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — Two-year-old Mark Miller, of Wooster, wasn’t quite sure what to make of his success Saturday during the fishing derby at the Conneaut Fish and Game Club.

“This is his first fish he ever caught,” said Dale Dunford, of Jefferson, who helped him in his youthful angling adventure.

“He didn’t know what to think” Dunford said.

The club, which presently has 169 members, has been sponsoring the event for 48 years, said Michele Lowe, of Conneaut, who helped organize the event.

“This year we are doing it in memory of Willie Hall (who died this past year). He was a member of the club.

A wall of people ringed a fishing pond at the Conneaut Fish and Game Club property less than a half mile off Route 20 for the annual event.

Organizers said 271 children registered for the event.

“We put the trout in the pond during the winter,” Lowe said. She said the club gave a fishing pole to all the young anglers.

“The largest fish winner gets a charter fishing trip,” Lowe said.

“The kids are the ones who fish (but) the parents can help,” Lowe said. She said the purpose of the event is to try and encourage kids to get outside and not play video games all day.

“I did this when I was a kid. It is a tradition in our family,” Lowe said.

The club was established in 1911 and has annual fees of $35 and 20 equity hours of work at the facility or $75 a year without the work stipulation, Lowe said. She said members come from all over western Pennsylvania and northeastern Ohio

Most of the banks along the pond were filled as the  youngsters attempted to bag a fish.

A loudspeaker broadcast instructions to participants as each family put together their fishing strategy.