The rainy and raw weather did not deter the eager participants in this year’s Ben Baldwin Fishing Derby which took place on July 3rd on Lake Wentworth. This family event was hosted by the Baldwin Family for Wentworth Watershed Association members and their guests. Those who were unable to get out to the Baldwin dock on Cate Island were able to participate by digitally submitting a picture of their longest fish alongside a ruler so that it’s length could be clearly read.
All participants were reminded to be prepared, stay safe, and demonstrate good fishing ethics by taking care of the fish and their environment. In honor of Ben Baldwin’s dream to become a Fish & Game Officer, a special award, The Conscientious Fisher Award, was given to the participant who best demonstrated these ethics. This year’s award goes to 14-year-old Case Rogers, who was a friend of Ben’s. Case showed up at the dock on his own. He demonstrated what a Conscientious Fisher is all about as he navigated his way around the lake fishing. The rain didn’t seem to hold him back one bit and although he didn’t catch a sizeable fish, he came to the Cate Island dock to say hello and check in. His boat was equipped with everything he needed for safe, responsible boating and fishing. Not every fishing trip out results in a big catch, but being properly prepared is where it all begins. Case will receive a gift certificate at Dive Winnipesaukee so he can freshen up his fishing supplies. Congratulations Case!
7 pumpkinseeds were caught. The largest was caught by 14-year-old Sam Fogelgren and was 8.5″. Henry O’Blenes (age 8) had a 7″ one; Charlie Chick (age 11) a 6.75″ one; Oliver Mueller (age 4) a 6.25 one; Lukas Heimiller (age 5) and Levi Bond (age 3) both caught a 6″ one; and Grace Koch (age 14) had a 5.75″ one.
Taylor Willard (over 18) caught a 10.5″ bluegill; Emmett Battles (age 4) a 7″ one; Oliver Heimiller (age 5) a 6.5″ one; Eli Koch (age 10) a 5.5″ one; and Karen Ouhrabka (over 18) a 5″ one.
For smallmouth bass, Zion Abiodun (age 13) caught a 16″ one; James Ferguson (age 7) had a 15.5″ one; Brandon Guidotti (over 18) a 14″ one; Anne Ferguson (age 4) a 12.5″ one; Mary Gettens (over 18) a 13.5″ one; and Myles O’Keefe (age 12) an 11″ one.
Adam Japko (over 18) caught a 19″ largemouth bass, the largest fish caught in the derby. Caleb Ferguson (age 13) had an 18.25″ one; Samuel Ferguson (age 10) a 17.25″ one; and Claire Veenemen (age 15) a 16″ one.
Annie Ferguson (age 4) also caught a 9″ yellow perch and Max Goodling (age 14) had a 7″ one.
Only one pickerel was caught, a 15.75″ one by Zion Abiodun (age 13).
Awards will be presented for the 3 largest fish of each species at the Wentworth Watershed Association Annual Meeting on August 7th at 9 am.