Fishing Derby in Southfield returns May 4 for 35th year

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published April 16, 2019

 Southfield resident Ben McSwain guides his grandson, Christopher Siller, of Southfield, as he reels in a bass during last year’s annual Fishing Derby at Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve.

Southfield resident Ben McSwain guides his grandson, Christopher Siller, of Southfield, as he reels in a bass during last year’s annual Fishing Derby at Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 Fishers cast their lines last year during the derby. Anglers could stand on one of the platforms or on the banks of the lake and cast their lines for a chance to catch bluegill, bass and catfish.

Fishers cast their lines last year during the derby. Anglers could stand on one of the platforms or on the banks of the lake and cast their lines for a chance to catch bluegill, bass and catfish.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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SOUTHFIELD — Anglers, gather your poles and hooks.

For the 35th year, the Southfield Parks and Recreation Department will host the Southfield Fishing Derby at Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve, slated for 8 a.m.-noon May 4.

According to officials, the preserve features two areas to fish, and both will be fully stocked for the event with bluegill and bass.

During the free event open to all ages, participants are not required to secure a fishing license, according to officials.

All anglers are encouraged to bring their own equipment. Officials recommend using a single hook with artificial or live worms, a wagon or backpack to transport gear from the parking lot, as well as baby wipes, paper towels and hand sanitizer.

Recreation Programmer Cathy Fresia said the Parks and Recreation Department staff is excited to host the milestone event.

“It started out being trout fishing in the Rouge River over in the Valley Woods Park,” Fresia said. “A few years ago, when there was a drain collapse, we had to move it over to Carpenter Lake, and we found that’s a little bit easier to manage.”

Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve, located on 10 Mile Road, just east of Inkster Road, features 42 acres of woodlands, forested wetlands and native meadows overlooking Carpenter Lake. There is about a half-mile walk through the woods to reach the lake.

When participants arrive at the event, they’ll be asked to sign in at the trailhead and will be given a patch.

“They get a patch for each year that they come, and they put it on their fishing vest. There are people that have many, many of the patches,” Fresia said.

Members of the Oakland Bass Masters of Michigan will be on hand to help participants with their fishing techniques.

Eddie Josephs, 70, of Redford Township, said he’ll be at the event with Oakland Bass Masters to help with casting or just offering advice.

Josephs said he believes fishing is not only a fun activity for kids, but also a quality learning experience.

“Fishing teaches kids to enjoy the outdoors and respect the outdoors,” Josephs said. “It teaches them to respect the area they’re in, and when they’re done with their sport, to clean up. It also gives them quality time with an adult or with their friends, and they can experience nature and enjoy the outdoors.”

Parks and Recreation Director Terry Fields said that the event helps to highlight family experiences.

“Whether you’re fishing with a friend, a grandparent, aunt or uncle, or fishing and walking with your parents, we want you to enjoy the morning and make memories that you’ll take with you always,” Fields said in an email.

For more information, call the Southfield Parks and Recreation Department at (248) 796-4620.

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