The Tillsonburg Family Fishing Derby sponsored by Mike and Rosemary Dean is making a virtual comeback in July 2021.
It won’t be the traditional, in-person derby that annually brings hundreds of children and adults to Lake Lisgar for a day of fishing.
This year, the derby will be a one-week-plus online event, which aligns with the July 3-11 Free Fishing Days in Ontario. During the family fishing weeks, adults can fish Ontario waters without the otherwise mandatory licences.
“We’ll just be coming into Stage 2 (of Ontario’s Reopening Roadmap), so we can’t guarantee the social distancing,” said Rosemary Dean. “Even if they allowed 100 people at this time, we expect 300 or more for the derby. So we decided to take it online.”
Participants in the seventh annual fishing derby are being asked to email photos of themselves fishing, or with a fish, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos around Lake Lisgar doing ‘outdoor things’ will also be accepted.
“That’s our whole focus for the event – family fishing, getting people outside with their families. So we’re sticking with that, doing outdoor things with your social circle.”
People who submit photos will be eligible for draw prizes.
“We’re looking for a catfish or a trout or a bass (or other Lake Lisgar fish)… with you holding it preferably at Lake Lisgar because that’s the lake we use for our derby. Or sitting by the lake watching your kids fish or walking the trails. It’s all about getting people outdoors, together, in your social circle right now.”
There will also be a match-the-fish contest. People who email Rosemary will be sent a fish poster.
“We hope to have a nice prize for that one. If several people can name all the fish, we’ll have a draw for that prize.”
Derby photos can be submitted throughout the week of July 3-11. The Deans will contact and publicize the winners.
The Deans have a Facebook from the 2019 derby that will be used to show the prizes and post results.
“Have fun, get outside with your families, get away from the electronics, spend time together in the outdoors, enjoy our community and how beautiful our Lake Lisgar is and the trails near the lake. Biking, walking, stopping to fish… we want people just really enjoying family time together because it’s important.”