Perch Derby starts Saturday; $20,000 in tagged perch

Everything is ready for the 2023 Port Dover Perch Derby starting at 7 a.m. this Saturday. Some of the volunteers got together on Monday to go over details. Shown above with the prize 12-foot Innovocean boat, Suzuki marine engine and trailer at the Perch Derby Headquarters beside Bridge Yachts are representatives from Port Dover Board of Trade and Port Dover Firefighters’ Association, from left, Jody Overend, Rob Kindree, Jan Overend, Dakota Pyle, Ed Laevens, Terry Furler.

WITH 38 tagged perch worth a total of $20,000 about to be released, excitement is high for Saturday morning’s 7 a.m. start of the two-week long Port Dover Perch Derby.

This is the 23rd event and the first derby since the pandemic cancelled the event in the spring of 2020.

There are 18 tagged perch worth $1000 and 20 tagged perch worth $100. As well, daily prizes are awarded by a draw from all those who report to the Perch Derby Headquarters with any perch caught.

The Derby is organized by Port Dover Board of Trade with Port Dover Volunteer Firefighters’ Association.

Committee chair Katrina Ferguson says “whether you choose to fish or not, just buying a ticket enters you into the draw to win an Innovocean 12-foot Metal Master heavy-duty inflatable with a 9.9 HP Suzuki Marine outboard engine and a EZ Loader galvanized trailer from Bridge Yachts valued at over $10,000.”

Adult tickets are $20 and available at Bridge Yachts, Stoney’s Hardware, Fisherman’s Catch restaurant, Dover Dairy Bar, Dover Paint and Paper and at the Perch Derby HQ once the derby is underway.

Youth aged 11 to 17 get an Intermediate entry for $10 and those 10 years and under receive a Junior entry for $5. There are daily prizes drawn in each category and youth are eligible for a daily prize by registering any fish caught each day.

Board of Trade manager Jan Overend says the popular Cast Off Party that kicks off Perch Derby is also returning.

“Perch Derby fun really gets going Friday night at 6 p.m. with the Cast Off Party at the Community Centre,” Ms. Overend says.

That event at Port Dover Lions Community Centre on St. George Street has live music by Paul Atkinson and “Albatross”. The popular raffle tables filled with items are also returning. Games and activities will be provided for kids by Art With Heart.

Those who buy their Perch Derby ticket before or at the Cast Off Party are entered into the Early Bird Draws which are made that evening. This year’s early bird prizes include a television, Chilly Moose cooler, electric heater/stove and convection/airfryer oven.

Admission to Friday’s Cast Off Party is free. Tickets for the wings and hot dog buffet available between 7 and 8 p.m. at the Cast Off Party are $20 at the door.

This year’s Perch Derby is again supported by many local businesses. Bridge Yachts arranges the grand prize of the boat, motor and trailer. Eighteen local businesses sponsor the tagged perch including Arbor Restaurant, Brimage Law Group, Cobb & Jones LLP, Cowan Group – Gary Hepburn, Erie Beach Hotel, Fisherman’s Catch Restaurant, Good Redden Klosler Accountants, Great Lakes Off Shore Services, Millards Chartered Accountants, Morison Insurance, Port Dover Maple Leaf, Re/Max Erie Shores Realty, Royal LePage Trius Realty, South Coast Dental Care, Stoney’s Home Hardware, 211 Main Restaurant, Veri Marketing & Development, Willie’s Restaurant. Many other local businesses including Lee’s Auto, Rick Mummery Painting, Gord Cooper Trucking, Scruton Marine Inc., Port Dover Service Centre, Stoney’s Hardware, Haywood Auto, Rick Walker donate prizes and gifts for the Cast Off Party raffle and for prizes to those participating in the Derby.

Perch Derby HQ is located in the wooden building installed courtesy of Old Hickory Buildings for the two week run of the Derby at the corner of Harbour Street and St. Andrew Street.

Originally published April 26, 2023

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