The 19th edition of the Stuart Lake Fishing Derby was a success.
Hundreds of participants didn’t let the rain slow them down while they fished for a chance at $18,000 in prizes over the weekend.
“Everything went great this weekend. We had lots of participants, everyone said they had a really good time.” said Rosa Anne Howell with the Fort St James Chamber of Commerce
All three winning fish were pulled out of the lake by locals, like third place Jeremy Johnson who’s 6 pound 7 ounce fish won him $2500. He has been trying his luck in the derby since year one and broke an 18 year long drought this year.
“A lot of jubilation. I’m pretty famous for not ever placing, not even weighing in a fish in a derby. Not just placing, I’ve never weighed one in” He said with a laugh referring to the fact that the Derby only accepts five pound fish and above
“Second place went to my best friend, and he’s fished with me every year and he beat me by an ounce. So the funny story is the two of us have never placed, and we got second and third this year. He’s always been with me at the same place and camped out at the same spot every year.”
Tim Boyes’ second place fish won him $5000. First place went to Josh Hallman for his 8 pound 7 ounce rainbow worth $7500.
“The Derby is our favourite event of the year in Fort St James and it something that all of our friends get out and do. Whole bunch of us go out together, it’s an event we look forward to every year and there is no way I’d miss it.” Johnson said
With next year being the 20th anniversary of the Derby, Howell says they will be going “bigger and better”.
As for Johnson, he says his win this year won’t change his strategy next for the 20th.
“Absolutely not, we just go out and hope we have the same amount of fun and stay safe and keep er going.”