Hooked on Fishing Begins Next Week

Here is a tip for anglers who want to catch the tagged trout at this year’s Hooked on Fishing Derby at Lake Wilderness: Use a microphone as bait.
Here is a tip for anglers who want to catch the tagged trout at this year’s Hooked on Fishing Derby at Lake Wilderness: Use a microphone as bait.

It just might work for this year’s elusive tagged fish, named to honor Gerry Day, the longtime PA voice and guiding light of the derby. Gerry, who died last December, was a fixture at the fishing derby and devoted countless hours to plan and carry out the derby each year. His devotion to ensuring that children have the opportunity to go fishing fueled his passion for the derby. Gerry, who also acquired the title of Most Supreme High Head Weighmaster especially enjoyed serving as public address announcer during the derby, when it was not unusual to hear him telling fish stories long before sunrise – and long after sunrise as well.

Each year, the derby releases a special trout that bears a metal tag identifying it as the prize catch, good for a $300 cash award. The City of Maple Valley is sponsoring this year’s tagged fish and chose to name it in Gerry Day’s honor. Anglers must purchase a $5 ticket to enter the tagged-fish contest; tickets are available at Johnsons Home and Garden, Wilderness Auto Service, and BECU. Visit the Maple Valley-Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce website for details: www.maplevalleychamber.org

Regular derby tickets are on sale for $2 at the lake, beginning at 3 p.m. on Friday. Prizes are awarded for the biggest trout – and even for some of the smaller ones. Ticket holders with the Top 100 trout select prizes in order of fish weight. Anglers with fish that don’t qualify for the top 100 can still claim a prize from the “Get It Now” prize table, along with those fish caught in the net pen.

The derby is open to all anglers and a fishing license is required for persons 15 and older. Maple Valley Rotary is cooking hot dogs and hamburgers Friday evening and a hearty breakfast on Saturday, available from 12:01 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Derby festivities begin on Friday, April 21 and include the following:

  • 3 p.m.: Camping In The Park, register at BECU tent (tent camping only! No RVs). All Trout Derby tickets on sale.
  • 5-9 p.m.: Maple Valley Rotary hot dogs and hamburgers on sale.
  • 6-7 p.m.: Fun and Games with Fred Meyer.
  • Dusk: Outdoor Movie, “Finding Dory,” sponsored by Black Diamond-Maple Valley Kiwanis Club.
  • Midnight: Tagged Fish ticket sales close. $2 Trout Derby tickets go on sale until 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Here is Saturday’s schedule:

  • 12:01 a.m.: Derby starts. Maple Valley Rotary Breakfast served until 11:30 a.m.
  • 6 a.m.: Fish School at the Fish Pen, 9 years and younger. Free “Fins & Grins” photo op, sponsored by RE/MAX Select Real Estate – Tina McDonough.
  • 11:30 a.m.: $2 ticket sales close. Must be in line for weigh in.
  • Noon: End of Derby.
  • 12:15 p.m.: Awards, sponsored by Les Schwab Tire Centers.