Friday, June 30, 2006

Yellowwood Fishing Derby ... a success!

The 2nd Hand Lions, Fishing Derby, held at Yellowwood Lake, in Yellowwood State Forest, this past Sunday 25 June 2006, was a rousing success. Over 30 fisherpersons showed for the event. The day could not have been more beautiful Bright blue skies, puffy clouds and absolutely idyllic temperatures. But even under these conditions ... it still gets hot under the sun.

For a few of us, the 'event' began the night before with a campout at the Red Pine campground on the banks of Yellowwood Lake.

Yellowwood does not take reservations, so we had to 'boogy' down to the campground and 'grab a site' for the night. We were told by the campground staff that there wouldn't likely be any trouble getting a campsite. Well, we can't complain about near perfect weather .. but, it did bring out a lot of other folks to camp as well! Despite this we were able to get the actual campsites we'd chosen from the map.

Once setup we had opportunity to visit around a campfire. The evening was quite pleasant with enjoyable conversation and great weather for sleeping.

First light brought us out of the tents seeking coffee and breakfast. Coffee and ceral was the fare for the morning. A quick basic review of knots, techniques and bait handling and the crew was ready to head out for the start of the derby.

Bright and sunny was the day and so were the smiles and enthusiasm as the members of 2nd Hand Lions and their young partners for the Derby. Brian White, cooridnator of the event began with setting out the rules of the Derby and other important in

After the orientation it was time for the contestants to get their boats loaded with equipment and themselves. Fishing began shortly after 8AM and continued on to 11AMThe day proved to be a 'tough-fish', but a few fish fell to a variety of live and artificial baits offered. Following the Derby, the Derbyites convened left the docks and shore of Yellowwood lake to reconvene at campsites 23-24 in the Red Pine campground. There a grill was lit and hotdogs and burgers were the main fare with side-dishes being potlucked together. Awards were handed out for various piscatorial achievments.

Blake Zimmerman was top 'producer' with the most weight in fish caught. Darris McNeely took the 'largest fish' category. Good food and conversation was had by all.

Nature decided the day had gone on long enough and the party took leave of Yellowwood with a thunderstorm quick on it's heals. The camp was cleared - except for two conspicuously missing members: Mr. Fish and his trusty sidekick Sir Edward Quailbrook. Seems Mr. Fish just couldn't say NO to the fish. Since he has happened upon a real 'honey-hole' for bluegill. Meanwhile Sir Edward took roost upon high-ground above the banks of Yellowwood and proceeded to make up for lost sleep the night before. The thunder that alerted his fellow 2HLers to vacate - brought Mr. Fish's fishing came to an abrupt halt and sent him packing for the docks. The crickets did their duty and provided several 'rod throbbing' adventures from bull bluegill and sunfish. He did note one very exciting opportunity. One of the sunfish (like the one on the left) was mortally injured due to swallowing the hook. When put back into the water it began to flutter in an attempt to right itself. It did this up and down a couple of times. On the third time a very large dark form appeared at the bottom of a 'hole-in-the-weeds'. As the sunfish fell near to the 'hole' - a large rush of water surged toward the dark form and the sunfish - INSTANTLY - vanished from site.

Mr. Fish said he could easily see, in the 4' of clear water, the head of a very large - largemouth bass - that was at least 4.5" to 5" across at the eyes and stretched a good 6"-7" from the tip of it's nose to just behind it's gill-plates. He estimated the bass to be around 28" or so long and would likely have weighed in the neighborhood of 8-10 pounds. He said he quickly changed from crickets to bass lures, but was not successful in bringing a bass to hand. He did have a bass on, but lost it in the very heavy weed growth.

Well Mr. Fish and Sir Edward were bustin' seams to get their pontoon boats dismantled and stored in a mad rush to get backt to camp to take down the Yellowwood Condo and the Cock 'n Bull tavern (aka, tent and screen house repsectively) before the big storm hit. Well a long story made short -- they did it. But just barely! The drive home was quite rainy but uneventful.

So, Fishing Derby No. 1 is history and goes down as a success. So, it seems likely there will be a repeat. Until, then keep your reels oiled, your rods away from car doors and your hooks sharp. We'll be back on the water soon.

Uncle Garth

Yellowwood Lake Fishing Derby Photo Galleries
Darris McNeely Gallery
Mr. Fish Gallery