This past weekend, the Kane County Water Conservancy District hosted the third annual Reel Deal Fishing Derby at Jackson Flat Reservoir. Beginning Friday afternoon, over 70 Derby contestants attempted to land a few of the 1,100 fish stocked in the reservoir earlier in the week for the $5,000 worth of assorted prizes. One hundred of the largest fish were tagged for prizes, ranging from area business gift cards to $1,000 cash.

Local fisherman, Shayne Vanausdal, spent both derby days at the reservoir competing. “Third year in a row I did this. A little warm [outside], but it’s hard to talk bad about fishing,” Vanausdal said. Derby organizers anticipated finishing the competition at 1 p.m. on Saturday, but had to call in all fishermen a few minutes early for inclement weather. 

“The fishing tournament was a great experience for my son. He was able to fish for two days with his grandpa, uncle and six cousins,” said local Scott Colson, who entered his son in the derby. “They had a blast and made some memories. Thanks to all those who helped make the tournament possible.”

The Senior division consisted of ages 13 and older, while the Junior division consisted of any contestant under 13. Participants were able to weigh four fish each day towards the Overall Highest Weight Award. The Senior division was won by teenager Kyson Kenworthy with 12.6 total pounds, while the Junior division was won by Frankie Sample with 4.2 pounds. Youngster Judd Colson reeled in the Largest Fish Award, bringing in a fish weighing three pounds even. Allen Orton accomplished a near-impossible task of catching a fish weighing .2 ounces, winning the trophy for the Smallest Fish.

“We love to provide such wonderful recreational activities like this for locals and to draw folks from out of town for events like this,” Kane County Water Conservancy Executive Director Mike Noel said. “Our reservoir continues to provide us with a venue for events that benefit us as a community. And we couldn’t do it without that support of our great community.” The Kane County Water Conservancy District would like to thank Reel Deal Fishing Derby Sponsors for their support.