The 2014 Perch Derby was an outstanding success with a record number of tagged perch caught over the two weeks of the annual Port Dover derby.
According to reports from the wind-up ‘Reel-In Party’ held on Saturday night at Port Dover Royal Canadian Legion, no one present could recall a past Perch Derby in its previous 16 years when 22 tagged perch had been caught. This year 11 green-tagged perch were caught paying the anglers $1,000 each, plus 11 grey-tagged perch each paying $100 to the angler. The final tagged perch was landed on Saturday (the final day of the Derby) paying the angler $1,000.
It was a jovial event in the Port Dover Legion auditorium beginning at 4:30 in the afternoon with penny table prizes and other draws that attracted the largest number of attendees ever. The fish dinner catered by Legion members was served to a ‘sold-out’ crowd.
Winner of the grand prize of a Naden boat with a Yamaha outboard motor and trailer, valued at $6,800, was won by Robert Longworth of Leslie Ave., Port Dover. The draw was made from all senior registrations. Mr. Longworth has a sailboat that he is planning to sell.
Board of Trade Manager Jan Overend confirmed there were 11 green-tagged $1,000 perch winners and 11 grey-tagged $100 perch winners, “that is the most Perch Derby winners ever!” she exclaimed. People fishing in the derby had come to Port Dover pier from as far away as Windsor and Welland.
Winners of the green-tagged $1,000 perch were; James Olah (Hamilton), Dave Thompson (Port Dover), Brett Smith (Waterford), Matt Kleinsteuber (Brantford), Kim Rocheleau (Selkirk), Thomas Trudell (Chatham), Mark Cudmore (Port Dover), Dennis Rocheleau (Nanticoke), Ross Traver (Welland), Angie Mitchell (Port Dover), Gary Foster.
Grey-tagged perch winners were: Kim Hammond of Port Dover landed three grey perch, others were Mathew Rocheleau (Selkirk), James Olah (Hamilton), Mark Cudmore, Angie Mitchell (Port Dover), Brett Smith (Waterford), Kevin Anckaitis (Brantford), Jovanni Barba (Simcoe), Debbie Kok (Waterford).
There were many prizes offered during the length of the Derby, beginning with Early Bird Prizes, then Daily Prizes, and Lucky Draws at the Reel-In event. Local businesses were thanked for their generosity in donating prizes and for sponsoring the tagged perch prizes.
Perch Derby chairperson Katrina Ferguson and committee member Joanne Burcham handed out the prizes at the Reel In Party. They praised the year-long assistance of Jan Overend and Cara Bridgwater in helping organize the popular event. Appreciation was expressed to Derby committee members and helpers, Port Dover firefighters for their partnership and the many commercial sponsors for their generous donations and funding.
Major prizes or sponsorships were provided by Tim Horton’s, Stoney’s Home Hardware, Port Dover Service Centre Auto Pro, Lower Lakes Towing, Labatt Brewery, Port Dover Storage Solutions, Scotiabank, Bridge Yachts, Naden, Yahama, Arbor Restaurant, Brimage Law Group, Cobb & Jones LLP, Dr. Shawn Suprun, Chiropractor, Erie Beach Hotel, Fisherman’s Catch Restaurant, Good Redden Klosler Chartered Accountants, Great Lakes Off Shore Services, Greg McHugh Chartered Accountant, Lakeshore Fish Company, Port Dover Kia, Port Dover Maple Leaf, R. E. Mann Brokers Ltd., Royal LePage / D.A. Brown Realty, South Coast Dental Care, Wentworth Financial Services Inc., Willie’s Restaurant.