Scarlet Pangia, age two and a half, and her father Jonathan were at Duarte's Pond off Lambert's Cove Road before five in the morning on Saturday. But they weren't alone; any good trout fisherman knows the fish can start biting before the sun rises. Some families arrived before 4 a.m., armed with Thermoses full of coffee. Some youngesters, like Emmy Carroll, arrived still in their fleecy pajamas.
The Kids' Trout Derby, sponsored by the Rod and Gun Club, has taken place every May since 1989. The pond is stocked with more than 1,000 trout, but anglers can also hope to hook a catfish or pickerel. Scarlet landed a 19" pickerel, good enough to earn second place in the under-8 division, without using bait. Her worm had fallen off the hook, Mr. Pangia said, and as she reeled the line back in, the hook snagged the unsuspecting fish on the nose. After the awards ceremony, Scarlet happily spun the reel of her new bright pink winner's rod.
"She keeps saying she wants to get back out with the new pole," Mr. Pangia said.
The Nicholson brothers, Wyatt, age 7, and William, age 5, arrived at the pond at 4:20 a.m. with their father, Caleb. Wyatt took home the top prize, for largest trout two years ago, and it seemed that being a five-year-old Nicholson was the magic formula, as it was William who landed the big one on Saturday. The family staked out a shady corner of the pond near the entrance from the main road, where William landed his 19 1/4" rainbow trout.
After the awards ceremony, William tested out the new bicycle he had won before heading out of the tent, a large grin on his face as he studied his winner's trophy. He wasn't sure yet where he was going to put it, he said.
"In our room," Wyatt offered.
In the 8-and-under division, Kyle Peters, 8, earned third place with an 18 1/2" trout. Scarlett Pangia, 2.5, was second with a 19" pickerel, and Jack Scarborough, 3, earned first with his 19" pickerel. In the 9-11 division, Cabot Thurber, 11, took third with a 13" rainbow trout, and Riley Sylvia, 9, was second with a 13 1/4" rainbow. Veronica Wendy, 11, was first with her 13 1/2" rainbow trout. David Packer, 14, took third in the 12-14 division with his 11 7/8" rainbow trout. Ethan Maciel, 12, was second with a 14" rainbow trout, and Brahmin Thurber, 14, was first with his 18 3/16" rainbow trout.
Cam Maciel, 14, hooked the largest fish of any species, with a 19 1/16" pickerel. Cam, like William, earned a new bicycle in addition to his trophy.