Jason Hambly of Secaucus has been fishing at the Duck Pond for 38 years, and he has been bringing his son Tyler Hambly, 13, to the annual kids’ Fishing Derby since Tyler was a baby. “We look forward to it every year,” Jason said.
Tyler caught a seven-inch white belly sunfish at this year’s event, Saturday, May 7. “I won twice in the last two years for biggest catfish, and most fish caught,” he said. “Some years before that I won for the most sunnies caught.”
The annual contest is held each May at the Duck Pond, and draws kids of all ages. They compete for prizes in categories including biggest catfish caught, the biggest bass caught, the most fish caught, and the youngest boy and girl fishers. The parks and recreation and public works departments stock the pond with extra catfish and bass before the event.
“We look forward to it every year.” — Jason Hambly
Fishing for the very first time
Rosa Messaoudi, 10, and Mounir Messaoudi, 6, have been residents for 10 years, but came to fish for the first time.
Philip Anthony II, 4, came fishing with his grandfather while his father is away in the Air Force.
Natalie Collins, 13, caught a 6-inch sunfish. Her family was there, as well as her cousin Ayden Smeyer, 11. Ayden won the youngest fisherman his first year six years ago, and Natalie won it when she was three.
Jason McGinley, 8, caught a 6-inch sunfish. Jason and his family have missed previous derbies, but made it to this one, they said. They enjoy going when it’s not crowded, and Jason has caught fish there on other weekends.
John Voli, the parks and recreation director, said, “The staff and residents are happy every year. They love the hot dogs, and expect them at nine in the morning.”
The winners of the day included Kayla Disena, 9, for the biggest fish, which was a 25-inch carp. Her brother Andrew Disena, 4, won for the biggest catfish, which was 16 inches. The biggest bass award went to Joseph Pepe, 11, for a 9-inch bass. The most fish caught for the day were culled by Anthony Lepin, 10.
“He caught way more than 35 fish. I just wrote ‘a lot,’ ” Voli said.
The youngest girl fisher was Erin O’Connor, 3, and the youngest boy was Philip Jawny, 4.
Samantha Meyers can be reached at email@example.com .