CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Nov. 10, 2020) – Josiah Fuller not only caught the largest fish in the youth category during the Community Trout Fishing Derby here Nov. 7, he also left with a pretty good story about the one that got away.
The trout that Josiah, 9, had on his line was at least 2 feet long, he said, but then his line snapped and it swam away. Demonstrating the mark of a good fisherman, however, Josiah didn’t let the incident dampen his enthusiasm for the sport.
“I like how it’s very time-consuming, because you can just throw away a whole day fishing, and it’s really fun to me because of the thrill of catching a live animal and then getting to just see it,” said Josiah at the derby’s conclusion at Dewey Pond.
Hiro Huertas, chief of Outdoor Recreation for Camp Zama’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, said officials had to cap the number of participants at 23 due to COVID-19 restrictions, but that still allowed several families to participate while wearing masks and socially distancing.
The directorate usually holds two fishing derbies a year and stocks the pond with about 100 trout a few days beforehand, Huertas said.
Amory Williams, 13, started fishing when he was 5 years old in Georgia, and said his favorite kind of fish to catch are largemouth bass, but he also enjoys trout fishing.
“I just find it fun to do and it gives me something to do,” Amory said.
Amory caught five fish during the derby and won awards for first fish caught (at 1 minute, 46 seconds, after the derby started), and the largest weight of fish caught in the youth category.
Amory’s father, Clay Hines, said Armory’s affinity for fishing was the main reason he attended.
“I don’t like fishing because it requires a lot of patience, which is why I’m impressed that since the age of 5, he has the patience to do this and he seems to have a talent for it,” Clay said. “So I just try to encourage that, and this gives me an opportunity to do so.”
Meanwhile, Arwen Tomoyasu, 9, attended with her father, Cory Tomoyasu, and said she also started fishing when she was 5 years old.
“I love to practice fishing,” Arwen said. “The fish are so slippery and they’re so jumpy.”
Elena Bean, 3, said she also has fun fishing, and practiced her math by counting the three fish she caught during the derby.
“I like fishing some fish,” Elena said, adding that she also enjoys catching flies for bait.
Elena’s father, Tony Bean, said Elena went fishing for the first time about two weeks ago, and he believes it is an important skill for her to learn.
“It teaches patience … she’s working on it,” Tony said.
Elena won awards for largest weight of fish caught and largest fish in the child category, and Tony took home the award for largest weight of fish caught for an adult.
Amory’s mother, meanwhile, Katherine Hines, won an award for largest fish caught for an adult.
“I grew up fishing, so it’s just a family thing that we do,” Katherine said. “We always participate in all the derbies. The kids like to come, especially my oldest. He loves fishing.”
Katherine also happened to be right next to Josiah when he almost caught the biggest fish of the day, and can serve as a witness about its size.
“It was huge!” Katherine said. “It was pretty big, probably the biggest one I’ve seen here so far, and I’ve been to two of these [derbies] so far, and this will be my third one.”
Outdoor Recreation plans to hold another derby in the spring, Huertas said, and community members should keep in mind they can purchase a fishing license for Dewey Pond and rent equipment at the facility throughout the year.
For more information, contact Outdoor Recreation at (COMM) 046-407-4671 or (DSN) 315-263-4671.