Get ready for some reel excitement, folks, because Peterborough’s annual Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters Under the Lock Fishing Derby is returning for its 34th year!
Starting on April 29th, anglers of all ages will be lining up along the canal below the Peterborough Lift Lock for a chance to catch some of the 3,000 fish that have been deposited in the area.
But wait, it gets even better! The derby starts off with a special event just for children aged 15 and under. At 9 a.m. on April 29th, 500 tagged trout will be released into the canal, with instant prizes and a chance to win one of four grand prizes up for grabs.
And if you think that’s exciting, get this: one of the grand prizes is a whopping $1,000 cash prize for catching a fish named Walter, a rainbow trout estimated to weigh between eight and ten pounds!
But who is Walter, you ask? Well, he’s the biggest fish in the canal and the one that everyone is trying to catch. Nicknamed after the famous movie and play On Golden Pond.
Walter is always the most sought-after prize in the derby. But don’t worry, there are plenty of other fish in the sea (or canal, in this case) to catch, including specially sponsored fish with $200 cash prizes courtesy of local businesses and companies.
Last year’s derby saw more than 2,000 people participating, and organizers are expecting similar numbers, if not more, this year.
And if you think fishing is just for kids, think again! Last year, the introduction of a special section for adults to fish in after the children’s event tripled the number of adult participants.
The fun doesn’t stop there, though. Over the last week, the federation has been teaching 300 Peterborough students fishing basics to set them up for success in the derby and encourage them to keep coming back year after year.
Now, if you want to make sure you’re one of the early birds to catch the worm, early bird tickets are available until April 13th for just $15 for the first child, $10 for siblings, and $25 for adults.
Plus, there are 20 early bird prizes up for grabs for those who register online at ofah.org/underthelock or at a Canadian Tire store in Peterborough, including $200 fishing prize packs for ten children and ten adults.
So, what are you waiting for? Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a first-time fisher, this derby is the perfect way to start off the fishing season and get out there with your friends and family.
Sure, there might be some tangles and chaos along the way, but that’s all part of the fun!