Perch Derby opens Saturday, Cast-Off Party is Friday night

THE Port Dover Perch Derby opens Saturday morning when fishing lines can be dropped into Port Dover harbour in attempts to catch the 40 tagged perch.
Saturday’s opening day marks the 22nd annual derby that offers a total of $23,500 in prize money. Port Dover Board of Trade Manager Jan Overend reported to The Maple Leaf she was pleased that local merchant Katrina Ferguson had agreed to serve as derby committee chair again this year, marking her fourth year.
She noted the 15-day event plus the Cast-Off Party prior to opening could not be carried on without many volunteers. Her comment was “we are so fortunate to have willing and able people who pitch in to help every year.”
Before the actual fishing begins on Saturday, there is the popular Cast-Off Party on Friday evening in Port Dover Community Centre starting at 6:30 p.m. with live music, games for kids and Early Bird Draws including a 32” tv, outdoor solar lamp, portable barbecue, chimera outdoor fireplace.

Above: Port Dover Perch Derby Chair Katrina Ferguson and Ed Laevens of Bridge Yachts are pictured at Bridge Yachts near the Perch Derby headquarters with the prize boat, motor and trailer in this year’s Perch Derby.

Committee Chair Ferguson reported the food at the Cast Off Party is looked after by the Schneider and Knechtel families. Katrina stated the food features a Wing Buffet and Hot Dogs available from 7 to 8 p.m. “Everybody is welcome and admission is free!”
“This year, for the first time, Art With Heart will be in charge of the children’s activities,” she confirmed.
Just before the start of the Cast-Off Party, volunteers will be busy tagging the 40 perch fish and then in a local tug proceed along the Lynn River dropping off the fish along the way. Spectators along the route and on the pier can witness the drop-off.
To be eligible for the tagged perch prizes, anglers must have purchased a draw ticket on the boat, motor and trailer valued at $7,276.07.
The headquarters trailer will be located at its usual site on Harbour Street at the St. Andrew Street intersection. Chair Ferguson commented that organizers will miss volunteer Bill Jaques at the trailer this year. Port Dover Firefighters have partnered with the Board of Trade for many years at the derby headquarters trailer and will be there again this year along with other individuals.
“We love our many volunteers as we rely heavily on them,” she stated, adding, “this year there are some new people volunteering for us, we are glad of that.”
Anglers hope to catch a tagged perch and a share of the $23,500 offered. The Super Perch with a white tag and navy print number 19 pays $2,000 to the angler. Also, one perch known as the 22nd Anniversary Perch with a white tag and navy print numbered 2 pays $1,500. There are 18 other perch with white tags worth $1,000, also 20 grey tagged perch that each pay $100.00 to the angler.
This is an event planned for people of all ages. Youth tickets for Intermediates (14-17) are $10 to win tagged fish prizes and Juniors (12 years and under) are $5.00.
Tickets are available at Bridge Yachts Ltd. Ship’s Store, Stoney’s Home Hardware, Dovercraft Marine Store, Fisherman’s Catch Restaurant, Dover Dairy Bar, Tan-Mar Shoppe.
Board Manager Overend said how “fabulous businesses and citizens are” as they pitch in to help in so many ways. She told how Ed Laevens of Bridge Yachts arranges a deal with MirroCraft boats and Suzuki outboard motors to get the major boat prize every year valued this year at $7,276; Jon Hoag of Old Hickory Buildings in Renton who provides a structure for the derby headquarters at no cost; Stoney’s Home Hardware is the source for all derby prizes at discounted prices. She added, “there are so many more that make the derby successful.”


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