Youth fishing derby returns on Aug. 13 after being cancelled in 2020, 2021

Photo by Tom Rivers: Scott DeSmit, left, is president of the Albion Sportmen’s Association, and Dan Conrad is a member who also ran a fishing derby in 2019 for DC Outdoors. The two are working together planning a fishing derby on Aug. 13 at the Sportsmen’s Association on Keitel Road in Albion.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 July 2022 at 4:48 pm

ALBION – A youth fishing derby will be back in Albion on Aug. 13 after being cancelled the previous two years.

This will be the 26th Daniel Spierdowis Memorial Fishing Derby. It will be at the Albion Sportmen’s Association on Keitel Road. There are two former quarries at the site where there are good chances of catching large-mouth bass, crappy, bluegills and bullheads.

The derby is named in honor of Danny Spierdowis, who loved the outdoors, especially fishing in the former Peck quarries at the Sportsmen’s Association.

Spierdowis was killed in a car accident at age 19 on Jan. 20, 1990. His mother Linda remains active at the Sportsmen’s Association, tending to the flowers at the clubhouse.

The derby is open to Orleans County residents 16 and younger. Participants are encouraged to bring their own poles but there will also be some available at the derby.

The derby goes from 9 a.m. to noon, with registration starting at 8 a.m. Prizes go for the biggest fish caught, and also the heaviest cumulated weight of all the fish caught.

Winners will get a fishing pole and tackle box with some tackle. Everyone who participates is welcome to stay for lunch.

There is no charge to the participants. Preregistration is urged by calling Scott DeSmit at 585-815-5150. People can leave the participants’ name, their age and if an adult will be available to help during the derby. Or they can call Dan Conrad with the same information at 585-590-1148. People can also stop by Conrad’s store, Toyz n Kandy, on East Bank Street in Albion to preregister. Preregistration is urged by Aug. 10.

Conrad ran a fishing derby in 2019 with DC Outdoors that had 76 participants. He said he is pleased to assist DeSmit and the Sportsmen’s Association with this year’s derby. He is hoping for 100 participants.

“We need to get more kids in the outdoors,” he said.

He urged first responders – police officers, deputies, firefighters, medics and others – as well as any military and veterans to volunteer that day to help some of the kids who have never fished before and could use pointers getting worms on a hook and taking the hook out of a fish’s mouth.