JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --
More than 100 people came out to participate in this year’s Annual McChord Top III Fishing Derby April 29 at Carter Lake on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
Children from ages one to 15, were split into four age groups and fished from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. for an opportunity to win prizes and trophies.
For this year’s event, trophies were given out for the heaviest, longest and smallest fish, for each age group.
Senior Master Sgt. Larcario Tufts, 8th Airlift Squadron superintendent, served as an event coordinator.
“It took about two months of planning and more than 30 people to make this happen,” said Tufts. “We also received help from the USO – who are out here offering free food for the families.”
The group of volunteers trimmed bushes, picked up trash, picked weeds and cleaned the pond to prepare the lake for this event.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife also enabled the event by providing more than 1,500 fish to make this fishing derby possible.
“This pond wouldn’t have fish without them,” said Tufts. “Also, Bass Pro, the Chief’s group, Pierce Military and Business Alliance, all made this happen.
“As you can see we have a lot of kids and a lot of families out here spending quality time together. The best part is seeing everyone enjoying the weather and spending time with their families.”
Tuft’s own daughter was out there with him fishing.
“She’s doing extremely well, she’s on her sixth fish already,” he said.
Another one of those families was a father – daughter duo, whose appearance at the derby has become a tradition.
Senior Airman Daniel Pine, 627th Security Forces Squadron Law Enforcement desk sergeant, and his daughter Kennedy, (five) had already caught eight fish within the first two hours.
“The best part is reeling the fish in,” said Kennedy.
She also said she picked her bait because they were sparkly.
Pine said it was nice having father-daughter time.
“This is our third year participating; both years she’s placed in the top three,” said Pine. “Hopefully we can repeat that this year.”