On Sunday June 16th the annual Harrington Park Fishing Derby, sponsored by the Recreation Commission, took place from noon to 2pm at Pondside Park. This event is open to children ages 15 and under and 60 children registered to participate. As it turned out, Saturday and Sunday, June 15 and 16, were New Jersey’s “Free Fishing Days” in 2013 where anyone may fish the Garden State’s public waters without a license or trout stamp. Please visit this website for more information about fishing in New Jersey. (http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/ffd.htm)
On this warm overcast afternoon, the fish were not biting nearly as much as they did at the event last year, but the young fishermen and their family members seemed to be enjoying their time by the pond.
Unlike last year, when 31 fish were caught and released in the 2 hour period, only 9 fish were caught (2 by one young lady). The largest fish caught was a 21” carp; bass and catfish (10-11” long) were also caught, as were sunfish and one bluegill. Snapping turtles were also caught! Please know that Pondside Park Pond is not stocked; these fish live and breed here. (The largest carp caught last year was 24” long).
Kudus to Tom Gleason of the Recreation Commission who ran this event; he registered participants, handed out worms, assembled fishing poles, gave advice on how to cast, patiently answered questions, removed hooks, instructed the children on how to measure the fish they had caught, brought the fish back to the pond…ran the awards ceremony! Everyone who caught a fish was able to pick a prize of a donated fishing rod or a net or a tackle box; the remaining prize was chosen by raffle.
As they do every year, Scouts from Boy Scout Troop 616 sold hot dogs, water, and sodas- with pondside orders and delivery. Thanks also to the Scouts for walking around the pond after the event to clean up leftover trash!