Bob Meloche Memorial Fishing Derby attracts over 200 entrants

 

Organizers and sponsors of the Bob Meloche Fishing Derby congratulate the nine winners at the AMA Sportsmen’s Club last Sunday afternoon.

Organizers and sponsors of the Bob Meloche Fishing Derby congratulate the nine winners at the AMA Sportsmen’s Club last Sunday afternoon.

By Ron Giofu

 

A tradition that was started by Bob Meloche over four decades ago continued in his memory last Sunday.

The Bob Meloche Memorial Fishing Derby attracted a total of 207 entrants this year, up from the 187 children that participated in 2013. A wrap-up party featuring hot dogs, children’s games and awards was held Sunday at the AMA Sportsmen’s Association.

“Bob Meloche started this tournament originally with just kids fishing on river banks,” explained AMA Sportsmen’s Association president Rod Ferriss. “He grew it into what it is today.”

After Meloche was killed in a car accident in 2009, the tournament continued in his memory. Sons Mike and Gord were on hand measuring fish while daughter Sandra was also present. Son Greg was out west and unable to attend.

Ferriss said things were streamlined this year so children got prizes as soon as they arrived rather than waiting to be called up and that improved matters. He said the club continues to present the derby not just as a tribute to Meloche, but to fulfill one of their mandates as well.

“We raise money all year long that goes into a youth account,” said Ferriss. “One of our mandates is to give back to youth.”

The AMA Sportsmen’s Association partnered with Canadian Tire this year, with film crews on hand to film the proceedings for the Canadian Tire “Jumpstart” program.

The winners in the 0-5 age category were (third to first), Lorelei Gatti, Aubrey Laing, and Abigail Beckett. In the 6-10 category, winners were (third to first) Makaela Iacone, Cadon Coppola and Mya Little while the 11-15 category was won by Teddy Fryer, Hunter Dube and Jacob Wistuba.

The club’s 31st annual Walleye Tournament runs June 27 to July 5th with a wrap-up party at the club July 6. The grand door prize this year is a 16-foot boat, motor and trailer, with a second grand door prize of a 9.9 horsepower trolling motor.

There are also several thousand dollars in additional door prizes.

This is in addition to the overall money awards for the largest fish in both kept and live release along with awards for largest daily kept and live release cash prizes.

There is again this year a $30,000 voucher from Racicot Chrysler for catching a specially tagged fish. Last year, the club had over 900 entries in the tournament and hope to another successful year.

Ferriss said one of the fish tagged from last year was recently caught by Andrew Purcha of Algonac, Michigan with a $100 prize being mailed to him.

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