Hooked

Secaucus hold annual kids’ fishing derby at Duck Pond

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Tyler Hamby, who won for Most Fish, at work
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One young man, on an island of his own.
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A repurposed rail car at the pond.
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Katie—Lynn Snyder, who won for Largest Bass, poses with another catch.
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Secaucus elementary school teacher Alexis Leppin, with son Jason at the derby.
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Tyler Hamby poses with his prize.
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  1 / 6 
Tyler Hamby, who won for Most Fish, at work
  2 / 6 
One young man, on an island of his own.
  3 / 6 
A repurposed rail car at the pond.
  4 / 6 
Katie—Lynn Snyder, who won for Largest Bass, poses with another catch.
  5 / 6 
Secaucus elementary school teacher Alexis Leppin, with son Jason at the derby.
  6 / 6 
Tyler Hamby poses with his prize.

Secaucus residents got to hone their hooking skills at the town’s annual fishing derby at Duck Pond on Saturday, May 6. Despite some of the kids’ bountiful hauls, the rules said they had to throw the fish back.
Tyler Hamby, 14, quickly shot ahead of the pack in the competition. He captured two 11-inch catfishes, a few sunnies, and even a turtle, among other catches. That was eventually enough for him to win the Most Fish award.
“I’m surprised, just how people have been getting fish,” Hamby said as he worked to retain his lead over other participants. “Last year, it was really scarce to get fish, and I’m just surprised that they’re out today.”
Hamby’s fishing prowess may be genetic. Not only is his father an avid fisher, but so was his grandfather.
“It brings families together. It’s something different,” said resident Tom Rutowski, as he fished with his daughter. “People don’t realize that there’s even a pond down here to fish. It’s nice. We’ll see what happens.”
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Chris Worthington won the award for Largest Fish.
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“It’s a beautiful day,” said Alexis Leppin, a local teacher at the Huber Street Elementary School, while preparing her fishing line with her family. “Fun times, nice times to get out and participate in things with the community.”
Though she was having trouble catching any fauna in the pond, Leppin’s son captured a sunny early on. Daughter Melanie was one of the winners for the Youngest Fisherman Award.
During the event, a small commotion surrounded Katie-Lynn Snyder, 11, when people were impressed with her catch of a perch fish. She eventually won the award for Largest Bass at nine inches.
The youth didn’t seem to fret much over her catch, simply describing it as, “good.”
“It’s something cool, because she’s doing it on her own,” said mother Allyson. “She was baiting her own line. I’m just standing here.”
Other winners in the Youngest Fisherman Award category included Katie Degraf, Emily Pepe, Andrew Disena, and Philip Anthony.
Chris Worthington won the award for Largest Fish — a 13.5 inch bass. Kayla Disena won for Largest Catfish at 12 ½ inches.
The winners went home with prizes such as their own fishing poles or tackle boxes, boxes to hold fishing equipment.
“The weather actually held out for us, and we were lucky to get it in this year, “said Recreation Director John Voli, after the event. “A good time was had by all.”
Hannington Dia can be reached at hd@hudsonreporter.com