Kelly Maher has been fishing in the Carp Derby since her dad took her out when she was 12-years-old.
Ten years later, she landed a 41 pound, 7 ounce lunker that earned her first place and $500 in Waterloo Rotary’s annual event. And to top it off, she also weighed in a 37 pound, 1 ounce fish that captured third place and $150. Maher said she fished in her favorite secret spot in Seneca Lake.
Jesse Tompkins of Geneva, a perennial winner, this year captured second place and $250 with a Seneca Lake carp that topped the scales at the Oak Island weighing station at 39 pounds 11 ounces. It was the 10th year the Rotarians have sponsored the Carp Derby that was begun by the Grumpy Old Men of Seneca Falls 38 years ago.
Other winners were Jeremy Cecce of Seneca Falls, fourth place with a carp weighing 36 pounds, 2 ounces he said he caught in Cayuga Lake by Canoga. He pocketed $100. Cecce said fishing was slow this year because a cold spring has kept fish from spawning.
Winning $50 for fifth place was Carter Shumway, son of Scott Shumway of Seneca Falls whose fish weighed 31 pounds, 5 ounces. The Shumways also fished in Cayuga Lake. Scott Shumway and his brother, Nate, have fished in the derby since it was begun by the Grumpy Old Men about 38 years ago. Scott Shumway thanked Waterloo Rotary for continuing to sponsor the fishing derb which has raised thousands of dollars for charity.
The team of Lee Earp and Tom “Shorty” Finnerty of Waterloo earned a total of $150 for placing sixth through eighth . Weighmasters Kyle Black and Chris Shafer were kept busy as Earp and Finnerty placed their fish in the large white laundry baskets on the scales. The sixth place fish weighed in at 30 pounds, and seventh and eighth at 29 pounds, 9 ounces each.
Picking up $50 for the smallest fish was Mason Bishop of Penn Yan with a tiny 7 ouncer that barely registered on the scales.
Rotary President Gina Suffredini entertained the crowd of onlookers with “fun facts” about the carp. She thanked Waterloo Village for providing the truck and Seneca Meadows for accepting the fish after the derby. More than 100 anglers registered and about 400 fish were tossed into the bucket of Rotarian Jeff Cassim’s tractor to be loaded into the truck.
Proceeds from the event support Rotary’s community activities including Camp Onseyawa, Trevor’s Gift backpack program, and scholarships for graduating Waterloo seniors.
Waterloo Rotary meets every Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Quality Inn. New members are always welcome.