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Angler reels in big prize for small fish

Andrew Fitches pulled in the event’s first fish – a tiny perch that won him first pick in a huge selection of prizes.

Saturday’s weather was perfect for anglers of all ages to drop their lines in the 8th annual Merland Park Ice Fishing Derby.

Hosted by Merland Park’s Jennifer and Kevin Lavers, the event is known for its many ice games, which kick off with the Shirt Off – Fish On competition where participants fish shirtless for five minutes.

This year, Andrew Fitches pulled in the event’s first fish – a tiny perch that won him first pick in a giant selection of prizes. He choose a gas powered auger. The Smith Falls resident said he has been coming to the derby for the past seven or eight years.

Ryanna Mason caught the second fish in the Fish On competition and chose a DVD player with movies as her prize.

Caleb and Samantha Jouwstra, of Brighton, try the doughnut eating contest.

Saturday afternoon’s games were in support of the Kiwanis Terrific Kids program. All entry fee proceeds go toward the club and in turn, Kiwanis volunteers lend a hand over the weekend to serve up food and help with the on-ice games.

Families and fishing enthusiasts across Ontario can fish licence-free Saturday, Feb. 18 through Monday, Feb. 20.

Kiwanis’ Gerri Claxton and Merland Park’s Kim Lavers Mulrooney at the prize table. Briar Boyce photo

Kiwanis volunteers Dave and Chuck Durant clear the snow from around the fishing holes prior to the event’s start. Briar Boyce photo

Filed Under: Featured ArticlesSports & Recreation

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