The Bristol Press – 71st Spinelli Fishing Derby attracts hundreds of bigger fish measured at 28 inches

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BRISTOL — The 71st Perry J. Spinelli Fishing Derby caused a stir at Page Park Pond on Saturday as families caught hundreds of fish and won prizes.

Bristol Parks, Recreation, Youth and Community Services has stocked the pond with several hundred trout at Page Park Pond for families to catch, some of them ‘golden trout’ which have earned special rewards for those who were lucky enough to find them.

“Last year we didn’t catch any trout and this year we caught a fair amount of trout and a 13-and-a-half-inch golden,” said Amry, supervisor of the parks recreation division, of the recreation, youth services and communities. Shelby. “It’s a great and relaxed family event to come and enjoy.”

This golden trout was caught by Keira Osak.

The families measured their fish at a nearby lodge, named after Perry Spinelli, said Shelby, who was behind the fishing tournament. The fish were then released back into the pond.

“He played a very important role in the derby and also in Bristol Parks,” he said of the derby founder.

A variety of prizes were offered for different catch categories, such as first catch and biggest catch. The first three fish caught by a participant also counted towards winning prizes. Some of those prizes were gift cards from local businesses or fishing gear.

Families signed up to fish around 6:30 a.m. with the derby kicking off at 7 a.m. and then ending at 10 a.m., although, Shelby said, families often do and are encouraged to make a day of fishing after the derby. Smaller derbies also took place during the main derby for around 10 minutes each and anglers could win prizes for the first fish caught in these specific times.

Daniel Kane, 13, had a fish on his line in a 10-minute derby before realizing what he had on the other end was harder to reel in than the others. After a process of several minutes he caught what was eventually measured to be a 28 inch orange koi fish, the largest fish caught that day.

“I was really surprised and it feels good,” Kane said. “I’ve been trying to catch a fish like that for a while, especially koi. I saw them here for a while but never caught them before but today it happened.

The young fisherman says he cast a line with a small piece of corn.

“I saw him feeding on the bottom. When he ate, he probably missed maybe 100 feet, was jumping and everything,” Kane said.

He said that with a small rod, like the one he had, he had to loosen the brake slightly. He also described the rod as “flexible, so when the fish was running the hook wouldn’t come out because it had a lot of flexibility”.

Published in The Bristol Press, Bristol, Forestville, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington Herald, Terryville on Saturday, April 30, 2022 9:02 PM. Updated: Saturday April 30, 2022 9:04 PM.
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