Angling for a catch

First Posted: 5/12/2015

SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — Organizers say the Forever Young Kids’ Fishing Derby is an opportunity for children to improve their fishing skills through hands-on learning and it also fosters an appreciation for the park, lake and natural resources.

This year’s derby will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 13 at Lake Eston Wilson at Hillside Park, 1188 Winola Road.

Clarks Summit fisherman Santo Schiavone, 10, is one of nearly 900 children who have participated in the derby, named in honor of Lawrence E. “Bud” Young, for his contributions to the Abington Community.

Schiavone is the son of Ronda and Sam Schiavone and hasn’t missed a Forever Young Kids’ Fishing Derby since its inception six years ago. He’s already gearing up for the annual fishing event.

“It’s fun when you get to touch the fish when you catch them. I like the feeling of the fish trying to get away from me. I like fishing because when we put the fish back in the water, we can see it swim away,” he said.

Linda Young, Clarks Green, founded the Forever Young Kids’ Fishing Derby as a memorial to her husband and six years later, Young said the annual event has become a “passion.”

“Looking back over the past six years what started as a memorial to my husband has become a passion of mine and so many others to bring more and more children to the derby, to expose them to our beautiful park and all it has to offer, and to give them a healthy outdoor pastime for the summers to come. What could be more rewarding?” Young said.

The derby is offered free of charge to children up to the age of 15. Prizes will be awarded for the largest fish in each of three age groups, the largest fish of the day and the Bud Award for the fish measuring closest to 13 inches. Prizes will be awarded at noon and kids will receive lunch of hot dogs, hamburgers, a snack and water or soda.

Fishing is one of Schiavone’s favorite hobbies and taking home a prize is definitely on his “to do” list. It’s also a competition for him and his two brothers to see who can catch the largest fish.

“I’m pretty good,” he said of his fishing skills. “I’m patient. I don’t wag the fishing pole. I keep my eyes on things.

“I go to the part of the lake that is the quietest so I can catch the fish,” Schiavone said.

In fact, he plans to arrive at Lake Eston Wilson early so he can get a “good spot.”

“One time when I was at a lake with my dad, he told me, ‘If you want to catch fish you have to be quiet.’ I didn’t know I had to be quiet while fishing,” he said.

Schiavone offers the following tips to children planning to fish at the derby for the first time.

“Be quiet, be patient, keep an eye on your bobber, don’t wiggle the fishing pole and when you’re reeling the fish in, keep your tip up,” he said.

Children can pre-register for the derby with parental permission at the Abington Community Library from May 22 to June 12 at 6 p.m., or on the morning of the derby beginning at 8 a.m. The first 150 kids to register will receive a free derby t-shirt.

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