Carp diem: Young anglers catch on at fishing derby

TAYLOR — On an otherwise relatively slow day for fishing, Kyle Yeary of Southgate reeled in the catch of the day early last Sunday and won the 21st annual Taylor Rotary Fishing Derby at Heritage Park.
Yeary, 10, nabbed a 3-pound carp from Heritage Park’s Coan Lake and finished with four pounds for the day. It was enough to give him his third first-place trophy in four years, and his first in the Senior Division (ages 9 to 12).
Yeary’s 2006 and 2007 championships came in the Junior Division (ages 5 to 8). Last year, he was tied for fourth in the Senior Division.
For his efforts on Saturday, Yeary won a trophy and rod and reel, compliments of the sponsoring Rotary Club of Taylor and Wal-Mart.
For his 3-pound catch, he received an actual alligator head skeleton donated by Elmer DePlanche, a former Taylor resident who typically travels to the city from Lake Placid, Fla., to serve as weigh master for the tournament. This year, professional fisherman and city employee John Carter served as weigh master when DePlanche was unable to make the trip.
Also in the Senior Division, Jake Zacharias of Taylor took second and Jakob Miner of Allen Park was third. Last year, Zacharias also was a runner-up, but in the Junior Division.
Nina Winborn-Molina of Taylor finished first in the Junior Division. The 6-year-old’s cumulative fish catch weight was 0.7 pounds. After her, there was an eight-way tie for second at 0.2 pounds.
Isiah King, last year’s Junior Division champ, tied for seventh in the Senior Division this year.
In all, 100 children fished, a sellout for the event. Nineteen of the children were from Cub Scout Pack 1062 of Allen Park. Each of the Scouts received a badge and bobber.
Sharon Vespremi, who coordinated the event on behalf of Taylor’s Department of Golf, Parks and Recreation, said the Fishing Derby “truly embodied what the Taylor Summertime Fun Festival was about this year.”
“Our focus was on families, and it was so great to see everyone gathered around Coan Lake on the most perfect of summer days with their children and grandchildren,” said Vespremi, who also serves as education coordinator at the Heritage Park Petting Farm. “We are grateful to the Taylor Rotary, under the direction of President Ed Sell, for its commitment to the families of our community.”

Taylor Rotary Fishing Derby
Leader board

Senior Division (Ages 9 to 12)

Kyle Yeary 4.0 pounds
Jake Zacharias 0.8 pounds
Jakob Miner 0.6 pounds
Emily Porter 0.4 pounds
James Knappmann 0.4 pounds
Gerald Turnbow 0.3 pounds
Katrina Hodge 0.2 pounds
Isiah King 0.2 pounds

Junior Division (Ages 5 to eight)
Nina Winborn-Molina 0.7 pounds
Dominic DuDonis 0.2 pounds
Alyssa DuDonis 0.2 pounds
Caleb Dupuy 0.2 pounds
Elizabeth Knappmann 0.2 pounds
Brett Ludwig 0.2 pounds
Ethan Mascaro 0.2 pounds
Makenna Mascaro 0.2 pounds
Jacob Melkonian 0.2 pounds
Austin Molina 0.2 pounds
Christopher Tomalka 0.2 pounds