Families hooked on fishing derby
Meaghan Schupbach (right) has her dad, Maj. Edward Schupbach, MEDDAC, bait her hook while son Maximilian observes the action at the annual West Point Fishing Derby May 7 at Round Pond. (Below, left) Rytker Goligoski walks his fish carefully to the weigh station. Children were awarded prizes such as bikes and fishing tackle boxes for the biggest fish.

WEST POINT, N.Y. (May 11, 2011) -- The day couldn't have been more perfect with warm and sunny weather for the annual West Point Fishing Derby May 7 at Round Pond. Roughly 70 community members-including 90-year-old George Peterson, who shared his vast history of West Point-dusted off their fishing gear and dropped by Round Pond for a morning of fishing. Peterson, the self-proclaimed "Mr. West Point," is the oldest member of the West Point Bass Club.

"This is a beautiful day for this," Pat Wimmer, Bass Club president, said. "We give the kids a briefing on safety. We used to hold safety clinics, but we found that the little children tend to get bored, so we just give them a quick safety briefing."

The fishing derby is hosted by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and the West Point Bass Club. Members volunteered their time to weigh fish, operate the barbeque and encourage anglers. Meaghan Schupbach said she enjoys fishing and has been to this event twice.

"It's nice," she said. "I like catching fish, but I don't like touching them. I'll bait my fish unless it's too skinny, then Dad does it."

Fish caught may be of any weight, but if they are less than six inches in length, they must go back into Round Pond. Bass caught must go back because bass season doesn't open until June. Most anglers were catching blue gills, trout and sunfish.

Prizes were awarded for the biggest fish caught within age groups and for cleaning the area after the event and included bikes, fishing tackle and poles provided by sponsors U.S. Family Health Plan and the Daughters of the United States Army.

Award recipients for the 12-16 age group were Liana Keene, first place for a fish weighing 1.1 pound, and Michael Jones, who received both second and third place awards. In the 9-11 age group, Jake Fernbacher earned first place with a 1.1 pound fish, Kenny Scott placed second and Maximus McGrath received third place. For ages 5-8, the first place winner was Gabriel Jones for a fish weighing 1.4 pound. Katelyn Eubanks received second place and Cole Enslen earned the third place award. Ryan Delong and Rachel Abbott received prizes for the most weight in waste collected after the event.

Page last updated Wed May 11th, 2011 at 15:46