Kids reel in big ones at fishing derby

Aug 4, 2019

The fish were indeed biting at the annual “Get Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs” fishing derby.

The event, now in its 30th year, saw 37 kids between the ages of six and 16 set their lines in Melo’s Pond off of Old Westport Road to see who could catch the largest fish and the most fish within a three-hour timeframe.

Nathan Correia, 13, has been competing in the event for four years. As the three-hour derby drew to a close, he scored his second bass of the day. 

“We’ve come here for years, so we always find the better spots,” Correia said. 

Despite his opportune fishing spot, however, he didn’t place within the top three finishers. 

Dean Menezes, however, did. He was out fishing with his sister Adriana and parents Rob and Mandy. His 22-ounce catch netted him a third place trophy in the boys’ largest fish category.

His catch was so big, his father had to help him reel it in. 

“He had trouble reeling and pulling it in,” Rob noted. 

To honor the 30th anniversary of the event, the Knights of Columbus had commemorative baseball caps made to hand out at the event, and special raffles and prizes. 

The Knights took over the event five years ago. The event was started by the Dartmouth Police Athletic League’s Lt. Ken Cotta. When he retired five years ago, the Knights — long-time sponsors of the event — stepped up to continue it. 

“Get Hooked on Fishing, Not On Drugs: That’s the slogan it started out with, and that’s the slogan we’re sticking with,” said Ed Viveiros from the Knights of Columbus. “We do this for the kids.”