By random circumstance, I finally had a few moments to catch up on the Cleveland Metroparks fishing blog. I was surprised to learn that right as I was reading, the annual Children’s Fishing Derby had just started at Wallace Lake in Berea that very morning. While we were already an hour into the event, I hustled my son out the door.
Bryce and I are no strangers to these events as we have done several, but it was admittedly different to arrive late. Most of the better, easier places to fish were taken, which left us casting under a tree with ominous branches that displayed numerous trophies of tackle they had claimed. We didn’t let it discourage us, and went about our fishing. About a half hour in, Bryce reeled in a small Bluegill. After the catch, I noticed Bryce was more pre-occupied with the carnival type atmosphere of the registration area and decided to quit fishing.
With things like the above ‘museum on wheels’ with huge animal graphics on the sides, I could understand why Bryce wanted to explore more of the area away from the water. It’s funny how sometimes we can learn from our children. I was consumed with getting him catching fish and making up for lost time from being late, only to have him at peace and happy finding enjoyment in other activities besides catching fish. It rubbed off on dad, and I was having fun too.
In the above photo, Jessica was very encouraging by giving out ‘high-fives’ for correctly identifying the fish species in the dioramas. Bryce also helped us to discover the plexiglass worked as an effective sneeze-guard, who knew?!
The always popular aquarium with some of the day’s catches draws my son to it like tweens to a Justin Bieber concert. Fortunately, most everyone was fishing which allowed him to dominate the front row view. I admittedly always enjoy the aquarium myself, which seems to be a nice fixture to look forward to at the events. I do wish we would have been able to contribute a catch to it.
Bryce always wants to be the intellectually superior person when it comes to fish knowledge with his peers. Cleveland Metroparks Aquatic Biologist Mike Durkalec, pictured above, is always kind enough to share some knowledge. Some people have a gift with teaching, and Mike has it.
After a conversation with this young lady’s dad, I learned she had caught a nearly microscopic fish in a small plastic bucket. I almost went blind trying to spot it, but it was there. Too bad for her that the Smallest Fish Award required being caught on hook and line, or she would have won easily. I’m sure she was fine without the award, as anyone rocking “Fish Ohio” cheek art knows who is boss. Bryce and I didn’t find the tattoos, not sure if I could have pulled off the look.
I apologize that this post doesn’t have any awesome fish pictures in it, but most assuredly I can tell you many great fish were caught. Click here to see some of the catches. The way the day turned out, Bryce and I simply weren’t by the water to make our own catches or see neat catches being made around us. We had fun with the activities pictured above, conversations, great hot dogs and the casting station. For those that have never gone to one of these events, I want to note that loaner fishing rods were offered to those that needed them and free bait. It also goes without saying that there are always numerous volunteers and staff offering free instruction.
A big thank you to the Cleveland Metroparks for another wonderfully fun family event!