What a difference a day makes!
On Saturday June 16th, as on most days, the pond at Pondside Park was calm and serene, with a few joggers and walkers circling it and two young men quietly fishing.
64 children registered to participate in two age categories: 9-15 years old and 8 and under. The young fishermen and their family members spread out around the pond to fish and to enjoy the beautiful day.
Scouts from Boy Scout Troop 616 sold hot dogs and sodas- with pondside orders and delivery!
Tom Gleason of the Recreation Commission patiently assembled fishing poles with bobbers & hooks, untangled lines, and gave brief instruction to the young often novice fishermen. Worms were provided to all participants.
During the 2 hour event 31 fish were caught and released by 9 people, including a pair of young brothers who just kept reeling in the sunfish.
The largest fish caught was a 24”carp. The largest bass was 12” and the largest sunfish was 8”. Pondside Park Pond is not stocked; these fish live and breed here. It is pretty amazing that a 24” carp—and also a 20” and an 18” carp- are living and thriving in this water.
At 2pm the participants were called to the check in tent and winners were announced in each of the two age categories for the largest three fish caught; those who caught the most fish also won a prize. The winners were able to pick a prize of a donated fishing rod or a net or a tackle box; the remaining prizes were given out by raffle choice to other participants.
It was a fun afternoon. Hopefully many of the young fishermen will come back to try their luck again at Pondside Park.
Please note- anyone 16 or older must have a fishing license to fish the fresh waters in New Jersey.
Please follow this link to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish and Wildlife for more information: http://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/fishing.htm