Over 100 anglers take part in Kagawong fish derby

Shelley Smith was the winner of the Joshua Montgomery Memorial Award for largest bass at 5.02 pounds in the 29th annual Kagawong  Bass Derby. She is pictured with presenter Paula Weadick. photo by Betty Bardswich

PROVIDENCE BAY—The 29th annual Kagawong fish derby was a tremendous success with 62 boats taking part for a total of 124 men, women and children

Linda Taylor, derby convenor and president of the Spring Bay Fish Club, told the Island’s papers that she had “never, ever seen so many fish come out of that lake. It was steady all day, bringing the fish in.”

The derby was started by Herbie Colette, Bud Weadick and Lewis Hartley in memory of Steven Shank Vincent. Mr. Vincent loved to go fishing and, judging by the many folks who entered the competition, so do a lot of others. “There were some new people this year,” Ms. Taylor said, “and others who come over and over.”

In her remarks to the audience at the Providence Bay Hall, Ms. Taylor thanked everyone who participated and to all the volunteers who made the event a huge success. This included the dock master, the Island Singers, the cooks, the ticket sellers, the prize donors, the bartenders, recorders and Rollanda Tovey, who each year has a quilt ready to donate. Ms. Tovey made the blocks for the queen-sized prize, Melissa MacIntosh of Mindemoya did the sewing work, and the Island Quilters Guild made the donation. The winner of this beautiful quilt was Marlene Dagonais of St. Catharines who summers on Manitoulin.

Ms. Taylor also talked about the Starlight Foundation. All proceeds go to this charitable organization that seeks to brighten the lives of seriously ill children, through wish granting, pediatric playrooms and fun-centred and entertainment related activities. Expositor readers will remember that one of those $7,500 entertainment units was placed at Health Sciences North in Sudbury four years ago. This mobile piece includes a flat screen TV, a Nintendo Wii and a DVD player.

Ms. Taylor also spoke of the donations made from the bass derby. “Last year,” she said, “we gave $5,000 to Starlight, and a hot tub was installed for a young man here on the Island. We also helped a young man who needed a double kidney transplant who was in this year’s derby. I am happy to think,” Ms. Taylor said, “that we had a small part in that.”

This year the donation will be made to the Island family of a young man with leukemia and who is currently in hospital in Ottawa.

In her remarks, Ms. Taylor also said how the fishermen were amazed at how large the fish were. “I never realized there were such big fish in Lake Kagawong,” she added.

The Steven Shank Vincent Memorial Trophy was won by the team of Keith Lacroix and Terry Latendre with a six bass combined weight of 25.37 pounds. Second prize went to Reg McAllister and Jack White bringing in 24.96 pounds, and third place went to Pat and Brent Leveille with 24.54 total weight. One can see how close these weights were, and Ms. Taylor read off the top 10 placements to show how close all those total weights were.

The Joshua Montgomery Memorial Trophy for the largest bass went to Shelly Smith who brought in a bass weighing 5.02 pounds.

Lee Brady was the winner of the John Wright Memorial Trophy for the largest fish other than a bass by a male angler. Mr. Brady brought in a 5.79 pickerel, and Ms. Taylor mentioned that three pickerel had been caught this year.

The Barb Weadick Memorial Trophy for the largest fish other than bass, and caught by a female angler, was won by Kerry Cranston with a 2.60-pound sucker.

Marilyn Breathart and Gary Card won the mystery weight competition for the Nora Weadick Memorial Trophy. The weight sought was 13.04 pounds, and the couple had a weight of 11.55. Ryan Japp was the winner of the Art Breathart Memorial Trophy for three perch by youth. The audience was amazed when this young man donated his prize money back to Starlight as so many of the anglers did. They were astonished to learn also that Ms. Taylor’s young grandson had spent the entire day, with fish and all, in a paddle boat.

The most enthusiasm shown was when Stella Leveille and her partner Laylon Leveille won the prize for biggest perch with a .99 pounds weight. Stella, who caught the fish, jumped up and down all the way to the front of the hall, bursting with excitement.

For more information about Starlight on Manitoulin or the North Shore, contact Ms. Taylor at 705-282-2273 or her daughter, Diana St. Pierre, at 705-869-7512.