PLYMOUTH - Itâ€™s time to drop the lines Saturday at Middle Pond for the Terryville Fish & Game Clubâ€™s annual Ice Fishing Derby.
The derby will be held on Middle Pond, located on Grove St., from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration will begin at 7 a.m. in the Terryville Fish & Game Club clubhouse at 21 Grove St. Breakfast sandwiches and refreshments will also be available at the clubhouse starting at 6:30 a.m. The public is invited to attend.
â€śThe Terryville Fish & Game Club has put this on for 15 to 20 years now,â€ť said Tony Orsini, one of the event organizers. â€śThere have been some off-years, like the two before last year, where there was unsafe ice. But, this year, weâ€™ve had some nice cold weather and the ice is in the vicinity of eight plus inches thick.â€ť
The pond is stocked full of fish prior to the event. Fishermen will have the opportunity to reel in bass, pickerel, trout and perch.
â€śWeâ€™ve stocked the pond with more than 100 trout,â€ť said Orsini. â€śSomeone always catches a really big, large mouth bass each year and the pickerel and perch are some favorite game fish. Weâ€™ve also put in a couple golden rainbow trout to keep things exciting. If you catch the golden trout, there will be a cash prize.â€ť
Orisni said that prizes may also be awarded for biggest trout and biggest non-trout. Fishermen will be limited to catching three trout that day.
â€śItâ€™s going to be a fantastic time,â€ť said Orsini.
Last year, the event drew roughly two-dozen fishermen, bundled up in winter coats. Different groups set up tents and grills to cook hot dogs and burgers and enjoy a morning of camaraderie as they waited for the fish to bite. They used drills to bore through the ice and once a flag rose up out of the hole, it meant that a fish had taken the bait.
One group of fishermen last year, composed of David Devoe, David Dyer, Marc Hallin, Eric LeBlond and David McGraw, had caught a half-dozen pickerel and perch by 10 a.m. It had been LeBlondâ€™s first time to Middle Pond, while Hallin had been coming to the event regularly.
Another pair of fishermen, Steve Boisvert and Steve Manzone, were proud last year to have caught a 3 pound 5 ounce, 24 inch long pickerel.
Even those who werenâ€™t getting many bites right away said that they were having fun. Kevin Rescildo, who came to the derby with his daughter Mayla, said around 10 a.m. last year that they were â€śgetting skunked.â€ť But, all the same, they were glad to be back after the event had taken a three-year hiatus.
â€śI love ice fishing - itâ€™s like tailgating and catching fish,â€ť said Rescildo. â€śIâ€™ve been doing this for more than 20 years.â€ť
For additional information about the derby, call Eileen Klimanoski at 860-589-4740.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or .