Editor’s note: The following was photographed, written and submitted by Grant Wooldridge.
By Grant Wooldridge
My four young gun girls are continuing strong in the local trout circuit! Pictured are my four daughters, named Avey (7), Anna (5), Kirsten (4) and Lily (2). The oldest three fished and won 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for girls under 8 years old at the annual Angle Lake Shore Club Fishing Derby!
We woke up before dawn on Sunday April 22nd. I cooked up some breakfast for the kids and off we headed to our boat. I had been building this up for a few weeks and the girls were excited, as Avey and Kirsten had won 1st and 2nd place last year in their first derby.
Before last year it had been over 30 years since I had fished this local fishing derby as a kid and now the excitement was renewed with little ones of my own. The goal today was to make fishing fun so that I had some fishing pals for the future. I figured it wasn’t raining, so we were off to a good start anyway.
We set off trolling our way to the sign-up dock with a simple split shot, swivel, leader and red Wedding Ring set-up. We had a few rigs tied up with a Ford Fender flasher as well. We used cut nightcrawlers, a little PowerBait and some pink maggots that Avey picked out.
This actually brought us great results as the day went on. As luck (read that as skill) would have it, Avey had the largest fish of the day (13 inches) after the first pass. She just lost out for the derby’s largest by one larger fish! Pretty good for 7 years old.
Now I made sure we had plenty of good eats necessary for successful fishing trips with kids including Swedish Fish, gummy worms and some sparkling sodas. This certainly magnified what was already a quality father and daughter(s) experience. These little ladies proceeded to limit out before the derby count was due!
The girls were having a blast! I was having the girls do the netting for their sisters, which ended up losing us the net but made for good experience.
Of course once we were without the net, we proceeded to get a double going. My beautiful wife Angie and I were helping the attempt to get two fish in the boat at the same time without a net when we heard a larger splash – there goes my 2-year-old floating past the boat! I swooped her up as fast as a lightning bolt, and most importantly we landed both fish. Good lesson in having the little ones always wear their PFDs.
Once back at the derby location, we measured our catch and were entered into the catch record for the day. The girls won 1st, 2nd and 3rd in their age class and actually would have done well in any age class with their decent catch. Sure enough, we went home with prizes of kites, goodies and beach toys.
What a great day on the water fishing out of the very awesome but a tad overkill Wooldridge 20’ Alaskan XL. A huge thank you to all those at the Angle Lake Shore Club who put on such a great event.
Editor’s note: Grant is the vice president of our longtime backpage advertiser, Wooldridge Boats.