Angling for Old Fred, Old Whiskers


Greene County Parks & Trails adult fishing derby set for June 16 in Bellbrook

By John Bombatch - jbombatch@aimmediamidwest.com



Ray Hale holds “Old Whiskers,” a giant catfish that had been caught and released in Spring Lakes Park in 2014. “Old Whiskers” and several other large fish are said to be in the park’s pond for the Greene County Parks & Trails adult fishing derby, to be held from 8-10 a.m. Saturday, June 16 in Bellbrook.

Ray Hale holds “Old Whiskers,” a giant catfish that had been caught and released in Spring Lakes Park in 2014. “Old Whiskers” and several other large fish are said to be in the park’s pond for the Greene County Parks & Trails adult fishing derby, to be held from 8-10 a.m. Saturday, June 16 in Bellbrook.


Submitted photo.

BELLBROOK — An estimated 50 area adults will be fishing at Spring Lakes Park, located at 2191 Ferry Road in Bellbrook at the Greene County Parks & Trails’ annual adult fishing derby.

For those interested in competing, hopefully you saw this article on the xeniagazette.com or fairborndailyherald.com websites Friday night, or you picked up your newspaper early Saturday morning, because the event is set to take place from 8-10 a.m. on Saturday, June 16.

All of the fish caught during Saturday’s event will be released back into the pond. Participants must bring their own bait and tackle, and fishing permits are not needed to fish the event during those two hours of competition.

“We stock the pond from January through November with catfish and trout,” explained Katherine Perez of Greene County Parks & Trails. “We’ve had fishing derbies there before, but this is the first Adult Fishing Derby that we’ve had at the pond this year.”

In 2014, Ray Hale used a 9-foot lightning rod with 4-inch Replica bait, with 6-pound tension fishing line to haul in the biggest fish ever captured in the event, a hungry catfish fondly known as “Old Whiskers.”

A newspaper article estimated Old Whiskers’ size at 24 pounds, and 37 inches in length. It took Hale at least a half hour to reel Old Whiskers to the bank. That same article states that there’s a catfish in the pond named Old Fred who was estimated to be 45 inches in length and a whopping 48 pounds.

Perez says she believes Old Fred, Old Whiskers and many other large fish are still in the Spring Lakes Park pond today.

“While the tournament is for adult fishermen over 18 years of age, everyone is invited to come out an fish. Youngsters too,” Perez said. “They’re more than welcome to try their luck at catching Old Whiskers, too. They just won’t be included in the Adult Fishing Derby. We hope everyone comes out and has a fun time.

“And I’ve been told there will be plenty of big ones in there, too.”

Prizes will be awarded to those anglers who catch the most fish, as well as to the fisherman who hooks the largest fish over 10 inches in length.

Wikihow.com recommends live earthworms, salmon roe, or canned corn kernels as the top kinds of bait to reel in trout. Gameandfishingmag.com says chicken livers or crawfish are good types of bait for anglers to snare bottom feeding catfish, but adds that the crawfish-eating catfish are usually in the 20-pound or less range.

So if you want to snare Old Whiskers or Old Fred, go with the chicken livers.

Ray Hale holds “Old Whiskers,” a giant catfish that had been caught and released in Spring Lakes Park in 2014. “Old Whiskers” and several other large fish are said to be in the park’s pond for the Greene County Parks & Trails adult fishing derby, to be held from 8-10 a.m. Saturday, June 16 in Bellbrook.
https://www.xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2018/06/web1_Oldwhiskersrayhale2014_PS.jpgRay Hale holds “Old Whiskers,” a giant catfish that had been caught and released in Spring Lakes Park in 2014. “Old Whiskers” and several other large fish are said to be in the park’s pond for the Greene County Parks & Trails adult fishing derby, to be held from 8-10 a.m. Saturday, June 16 in Bellbrook. Submitted photo.
Greene County Parks & Trails adult fishing derby set for June 16 in Bellbrook

By John Bombatch

jbombatch@aimmediamidwest.com

Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444. Ext. 2123. For more information about Greene County Parks & Trails, call (937) 562-6440, email info@gcparkstrails.com or visit www.gcparkstrails.com.

Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444. Ext. 2123. For more information about Greene County Parks & Trails, call (937) 562-6440, email info@gcparkstrails.com or visit www.gcparkstrails.com.