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The Big Worm

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Was a nail biter down till the end even pitied friend against friends as in the case of 1st and 2nd place, and father against son for 5th and 6th place.

(In the case of a tie in the big three the higher award.is given to the angler with the biggest fish)






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About 11am on Saturday a young man came to register to fish the derby, and asked he had enough to fish and handed me his $5.00 allowance he had saved, I signed him up and gave him a hook and bait kit donated by a sponsor, and watched as he looked through all the carp stuff on the table....then I gave him his $5.00 back cause this year we made the event free...he was suprised...but took the money back and looked to his aunt  who also wasn't sure what to do...she thought it was going to cost more than the $5 and was hoping she could afford to make up the difference for him. I smiled and told them both no...it's free this year..

He was excited to fish grabbed his aunt's hand and dragged her off. I offered to sign her up to but she didn't have a licence and didn't want to take the focus from her nephew...

Off they went....

The fishing had been tough and the only fish brought in by kids were ones sent with their dad's fish to weigh cause the bite was slow...

So I was suprised to see this young boy carrying a 5 gallon bucket full of water running almost 7  blocks with a fish hanging 2/3rd of the way out as fast as he could with his aunt  barely able to keep up.

I was suprised...it was a good fish...but at first glance it looked like a buffalo, grey with a big head and hump....but the eyes had the gold iris if a carp...

I didn't want to disappoint him although my inclination was that I was looking at a buffalo and it wouldn't count. We weighed it 13-9, and he asked to put it back in the water cause it was his first fish ever and wanted it to have a chance to get bigger...I smiled and he went to put it back in the Rock River. As he did that a I discussed the fish with his aunt  and my concern and she said it wouldn't matter he was so excited to catch it all by himself, and with the free entry and gifts it wouldn't matter...and she thanked me and the two went back to see if he could get another.

I put an asterisk on the carp to remind me and spent the next 12 hours contemplating making a big buffalo prize cause quite frankly it was a great fish, and the kids spirit and heart where in the right place....i was going to have to give him something.

The next morning the same boy sent his mom in this time (she had to work the day before) and wanted to buy some carp bait...I asked if he needed another kit and she said no...he just wanted to get something else cause he wanted to help us out...she spent the $5.00 on some corn and soft bait.

I was touched, his mom showed me several pictures from him catching the fish and upon showing them to Ray at bunnies bait, to a couple hard core capers and to a friend in fisheries we came to the conclusion that the fish was indeed a carp...

Sort of...

The color was throwing me off and so was the shape and lack of spike on the dorsal....and the dark grey brows around the eyes

But the Rock is known for carp-koi-goldfish hybrids and has a huge fan tail carp population due to a lot of koi farms along the fiver.

Upon closer examination there are barbels (but short) and the grey is not grey but lack of pigment. And the mouth anus and other details including the gold in the eyes make it a carp..

Most likely a several generation wild koi/carp hybrid with a little bit of  goldfish in their too (look at the tail)

Maybe it's the eyes, maybe it's age but this was a noodle scratcher for me because it was the big fish and I just wanted to be right...

Congrats Zack Bellows on your first fish, your first carp, and a really cool fish.!!! And for becoming a catch and release carp angler.





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This is the conclusion of the eighth Dixon  Carp Derby that I have run... and every year about a week before I wonder why the heck I'm doing it, and during the event I'm stretched about as this as could be..and at the end I am always in awe of the experience, the friendships and the memories that happen at this event...as well as  the thanks I get from those who participate, all 53 anglers.


This year we got to see what the event would be like relying on itself and by participant donations instead of the City/Tourism Prize Money, and I am confident based on what we saw that we can we repeat It because everyone had a great time and was willing to help,  .....if willing well be back for another year.... in Dixon, ....and if not, well find somewhere because it really does bring out the Best of Dixon with its social aspect,  camaraderie and local  pride in participating  that you just don't see in concert or blockfest. To all who came out, to all who donated, and to all who fished....I tip my "FISHING CAP" in respect and say as I have in the past...


         Thanks and see you next year!!!


Thanks to the City of Dixon for their continued support, the Mayors office , the Tourism Group for the Porto-Potty, Ray at Bunnies bait and tackle, Mike and Michael Kresanek for prizes, Arthur Duga for Prizes, the Bait Shanty for Prizes, the Carp Anglers Group for prizes and Free Handouts, Wacker Baits for handouts and a tackle  prize, World Classic baits for several gifts, Cloro and DHL for cleaning supplied for the event, and to my stewards Roy, Todd and his son, Nicole and her son Samuel....and last to Deb Carey and the Dixon Park District for always providing a fine, and well maintained venue to have this wonderful event at.


Thank you all!



To Regina Bohmann for her help as a weigh steward and as the event Photographer. She really captured the beauty and fun of this event....


☆☆      Thank you Gina!!!!     ☆☆


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