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32nd Annual Fishing Derby defies the elements

We're fishing in the snow...just fishing in the snow... What a glorious feeling... In a positively ludicrous spring snowstorm, hundreds of locals gathered for the 32nd Annual Plymouth Fishing Derby on Saturday (April 22!) at Fox Park. Only in New Hampshire.... (Marcia Morris) (click for larger version)
April 27, 2011
PLYMOUTH—"We gotta do it," says Plymouth Fishing Derby founder and fishing fanatic Allen MacNeil. "Last year's Derby was 70 degrees and sunny, but this is New Hampshire. I've been doing this for 32 years. The water is here. The fish are here. It's a chance for the parents and grandparents to introduce the young ones to something of a national sport. It's something every kid should learn how to do."

It is with that spirit that a large crowd of diehard "a-fish-ionados" turned out for the Annual Plymouth Fishing Derby at Fox Park this past Saturday morning, despite sub-freezing temperatures and a bit of a nasty, spitting snowstorm.

Believe it or not, they all had a lot of fun.

According to Plymouth Parks and Recreation Director Larry Gibson, they were all pretty successful, too.

There were 107 participants in this year's Derby, and they caught a total of 228 fish.

Celebrating the start of the 2011 Trout Fishing season! Connor Smith, age eight, hooks a beautiful Rainbow to take first place for the largest fish in the six- to 10-year-old category during Saturday's Plymouth Fishing Derby. (Marcia Morris) (click for larger version)
Thanks go out to all the folks to helped to pull it off, including volunteer John LeBlanc, Chris Mohan, Paul and Karen Freitas, who helped with weighing and registration, Gibson and Lisa Ash from Parks and Rec, Officer Jim Kneeland from N.H. Fish and Game, and of course, MacNeil, who coordinates the event every year and assists the novice anglers with tips and counsel as needed. Thanks also to Plymouth On Call Fire Department for food, drinks and the loudspeaker system.

Congratulations to all the lucky (and skillful) winners: Drezdin Diamond caught the largest fish in the Girls age 0 -5 category. Iris Adams and Hailey Cote came up with the smallest.

In the Boys age 0-5 class, Spencer Downing hooked the heaviest in weight, and Aidan Frietas netted the largest in length. James Basford and Ryan Senechal came up with the smallest.

In the Girls age 6 -10 category, Serenity LaPage got the largest, and Bethany Basford took the smallest fish of the day.

For Boys age 6 -10, Dillon Veasey and A.J. MacKay hooked the heaviest fish and Connor Smith caught the largest. Fletcher Hall was right on their heels with the smallest catch of the day.

In the Girls age 11-15 class, McKenzie Lavoie could not be beat... She hooked the largest, heaviest and smallest specimens in the category. That takes talent.

For the Boys age 11-15 class, Ryan Nixon hooked the largest and Ryan Stickney the smallest catch of the categoy.

Congratulations also go out to Senior Woman winner Margaret Johnson and Alice French, who came up short — so to speak — with the smallest fish.

Representing the Senior Men, Robert Cass hooked the big one of the day, and Dean Sherman captured the smallest prize.

Kudos for the efforts of winning handicapped fisherperson Tyler Joyce, who netted the Fish of the Day!

Appreciation is due to Tagged Trout Donors Main Street Bakery, Noyes Insurance Agency, Chestnut Hill Sales, Pemi Fish & Game Club, Plymouth Fire Department and On-Call Firefighters, R. M. Piper, Community Guaranty Savings Bank, Allen & Evie MacNeil.

See you all next year of the fourth Saturday of April—sure to be a warm, sunny spring day in the neighborhood!

North Country Environmental
Martin Lord Osman
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