BEREA, OH – With my wife out of town for work, I had a little assistance from the Cleveland Metroparks (www.clevelandmetroparks.com) with keeping the kids entertained today. In what has become an annual tradition, we participated in a kids fishing derby at Wallace Lake. These are very well organized, a lot of fun, and create some wonderful memories. Staff and volunteers are always eager to assist in any way to help participants have a good time. It never ceases to amaze me how Cleveland Metroparks Aquatic Biologist Mike Durkalec amidst all the logistics and chaos of the day – can give so many different kids some personal attention. Pretty amazing.
Along with the tradition of going to these events, is my inexplicable tradition of not being able to help put my kids on fish during the event. I really can’t explain it, but it reminds me to never consider tournament fishing. If there is any degree of competition or I am ‘on the clock’ of an event, I do bad. Thankfully, my kids are forgiving and there is enough going on that they still have a blast. Maybe I need a big button that says “MEDIA” that I can wear, and claim my poor efforts are due to the distraction of covering the event.
I love the photos posted above. The shot of my son and daughter with their arms around each other getting along, both smiling naturally (not the usual cheesy Bryce insists on) is captured very rarely. I also loved seeing them admire some of the catches that make their way into the tank. This is a very popular attraction for all the kids, not just mine. I thought the huge 19.5″ bass was exceptionally kind to frame itself so nicely in my daughter’s photo. That fish, was actually caught by a young girl similar in age to Alexis… surely others were dealing with the same thoughts I was of being excited for her while just a tad bit jealous! What a catch!
Being in the Cleveland Metroparks never limits you to a specific a single type of wildlife. We saw many neat creatures, critters, and animals of all types and sizes. Of note, Great Blue Herons, Orioles, Egrets, turtles, and a toad. My kids did not leave the event sad or disappointed they didn’t catch fish, instead I was treated to conversations throughout the day regarding everything they did see and do, and especially the toad.
Despite somewhat cool weather and overall tough fishing for most, attendance was pretty impressive. This photo taken a few minutes before the morning session awards, shows only a small sampling of the population around the event area and doesn’t account for the numbers that continued to fish. I am glad so many people, with those kids, make it out.
Shortly after we arrived, I recalled that we spoke to a gentleman who was covering the event. It was Michael Iglewski, who runs a YouTube Channel “Michael Iglewski Outdoor Sports“. The image capture above is from his event video which can be seen here. I wish there was footage of us reeling in a monster, but that would have required epic editing skills as we didn’t catch anything.