By Josh Howald
After four days at the Fish Kincardine Salmon Derby, Kincardine's Bill Molnar leads the pack.
The Canadian Tire Fish Kincardine Derby opened Friday. Opening day sponsors Kincardine Co-operators were at the weigh station at the Kincardine harbour to help anglers weigh their catches. From left, are Reel in Your Receipts sponsor Darrel Perry, of Penetangear; Kelly Dagelman, of the Co-operators; Jennifer Cook, of the Co-operators; and fish derby chair Travis Crawford. The derby, hosted by the Kincardine and District Chamber of Commerce, runs until May 25. (Barb McKay photo)
Molnar reeled in a 16.26-pound chinook salmon Saturday morning, which put him at the top of the leader board at the 29th annual Fish Kincardine Derby. He remained in the lead at press time on Monday.
Lake conditions were less than ideal for the fishing derby on Friday, the opening day of the event. However, the lake calmed down Saturday to allow boats to hit Lake Huron for a full day of fishing. Sunday was also a good day on the lake, and most fish on the leader board were brought into the weigh station on those two days.
Elmira's Paul Cooper was at the top of the trout division leader board. His lake trout actually weighed more than Molnar's leading salmon He brought the laker into the weigh station on Sunday morning.
As of Monday morning, Tim Hayes was second in the salmon category. The Teeswater angler caught a 13.32-pound laker on Saturday morning. Former derby winner David Bedford of Stratford sat in third for a 13.04-lb lake trout he caught on Sunday. Terry Leader of Princeton occupied second place in the trout category with a lake trout weighed at 13.42-lb. Terry Schiestel of Teeswater was third for a 13.08-lb laker.
A handful of local fisherman dot the leader board in both categories. Doug Eadie of Kincardine had the fourth biggest salmon, while Teeswater's Rick Schiestel was fifth. Teeswater's Rick Schiestel, Don Wyatt of Walkerton and Kevin Buhr of Kincardine also had top-10 positions in salmon. Locals held down the sixth to ninth positions in the trout category as well. Kincardine's Rob Wadsworth was sixth for his 12.96-trout, while Chris Dwinnell, also of Kincardine was seventh. Eighth belonged to Kincardine's George Humphrey and ninth spot was held by Tiverton's Tom Wragg. Wragg had the heaviest brown trout on the leader board. His catch on Saturday night weighed in at 11.8-lb.
Last year's winning fish, reeled in by Rick Dwinnell, weighed in at just under 20-lb, so bigger fish are out there waiting to be caught. First prize in this year's derby gets a $5,000 shopping spree at Kincardine Canadian Tire. Top trout and top salmon each get a $1,000 shopping spree at Lake Huron Rod and Gun in Underwood. The derby continues until May 25, with some special events happening before it closes out.
Tomorrow (Thursday) is Seniors Day at the harbour, with various gift baskets and packages up for grabs for fisherman. Saturday is Kids Day, always enjoyable for the youngsters. There are prizes for the biggest fish off a boat, and for biggest fish off the pier. There are other prizes, games and fun as well. The closing ceremonies will be held on Sunday at the Bruce Steakhouse, with the award presentations beginning at 2 p.m.
*update: Molnar and Cooper remain at the top of the leader boards as of Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.