‘Reel’ experts at fishing

Aleena Cross, 10, of Gloversville is excited to catch even a small fish. (The Leader-Herald/Eric Retzlaff)


Aleena Cross of Gloversville failed to catch a single fish in last year’s Youth Fishing Derby at Wohlfarth’s Pond Park.

But this year—wow!

The 10-year-old snagged 13, earning her the trophy for the most fish caught.

“It’s [fishing] is a fun thing because you get to see the fish and you get to catch them,” she said.

Other trophies went to Darren Young, for the first fish caught; Aiden Buyce for the smallest—3/4 inch; and 5-year-old Isabella Sweet of Meco, for the largest—a whopping 17-incher. And a ribbon was given to any child who caught a fish.

Mild weather brought youngsters and their families to virtually encircle the pond. Possibly the youngest angler was 2-year-old Noah Sweet of Gloversville, who needed a fair amount of guidance from his parents, but already had caught a 3 3/4-inch fish before noon.

His dad, Matt, said he appreciated both being able to spend time with his family and getting his son in the outdoors.

“People have lost touch with the cellphones, the electronics,” he said.

Veteran fisherman David Hayes of Gloversville brought his granddaughters, Adrianna Hayes, 10, and Brooke Hayes, 8, to the event and coached them on their technique.

“They found out you don’t just throw a line in and catch a fish,” he said.

Adrianna, for her part, enjoyed the experience.

“I love the final relief of just catching a fish,” she said.

Boy Scout Troop 5104 had key roles in the event. When anyone yelled, “I got one!” the boys raced to the scene. They measured the fish quickly so it could be released back into the water.

Also, the scouts camped out overnight after the pond was stocked with brown trout Friday “to guard the fish for the tournament so no one can come and take them,” said senior patrol leader Malachi Mathews.

He said the scouts got “the experience of helping others and spent time with the kids.”

By helping the children, they also gained experience toward a merit badge in fishing.

The fifth annual event, which ran from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., was sponsored by the city’s recreation commission. “It’s not for the adults, it’s for the kids,” said commission secretary Amber Chamberlain.

“We like to see the kids happy and having fun and having something to do in our city.”

By Patricia Older

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