Family fishing at Tihonet Pond

Jun 4, 2024

Families were thankful for the memories, even if the fish didn’t bite, at the annual Tihonet Pond fishing derby on Sunday, June 2, held by the Wankinquoah Rod and Gun Club. 

“It’s going especially well on a beautiful day," said Charles Murphy, director of the Club’s Junior Associates program. 

Murphy said the event brought out over 200 people, both kids and adults. He said many of the adults in attendance said they attended the derby when they were kids, and just kept coming back. 

Plenty of families lined the banks of Tihonet Pond, casting their rods altogether. 

Mark Heath said he and teenager Philip have been coming to the derby “since [Philip] was this high,” gesturing about two feet off the ground. 

While the most notable thing they had caught on that Sunday was a turtle, Mark said he wasn’t focused on the competition of the derby. 

“It doesn’t matter if we win that or not,” he said. “It’s all about the memories — and the raffle.”

Murphy said that all of the day’s raffle prizes had been donated by local businesses. “When they were asked, [they said] ‘For the kids? Absolutely,’” he said. 

The proceeds from the derby go to support the Club’s Junior Associates Program, which helps children ages nine to 17 foster a love for the outdoors. 

“It’s important to keep those kids engaged in the outdoors, doing things that are conservation minded,” said Murphy. 

Plenty of kids took the opportunity of the fishing derby to engage with the wet and wriggling corners of the outdoors world — to great success. 

Child Brody Fitch said he just cast his rod in and only had to wait “two seconds” before he caught a fish. 

Mike O’Conner, one of the adults who came out to fish on the day of the derby, said his grandson caught a 1.6 pound bass. 

It’s just great being outdoors, O’Connnor said.