Carson Everton (above, left) had the winning catch at the Morgan Lake Fish Derby last Saturday. Everton landed a 1-pound, 12.3-ounce catfish. (Casey Kellas/The Observer)
by Casey Kellas/The Observer
MORGAN LAKE — Those Morgan Lake catfish sure don’t miss many meals.
Or that’s how it seems, at least.
For the third straight year, the winning fish at the annual La Grande Optimist Club/Bi-Mart Morgan Lake Fish Derby was a catfish.
And boy, was it a chubby one.
Carsen Everton caught the fish that weighed in at 1 pound, 12.3 ounces, netting him first place in the 7-to-10-year-old age group.
Everton said he was using worms he dug up in his yard.
“Doing it the old-school way,” said Trent Bray, who was helping rig hooks for Everton and his friend, Isaak Carson.
Carson didn’t do too bad himself, landing a 1-pound, 5.7-ounce catfish that garnered him third place in the 11-to-16 age group.
While catfish took six of the top nine places overall, Ryan Middleton weighed in a 1-pound, 8.7-ounce trout that won the 11-to-16 age division. T.J. Boren took second place with a 1-pound, 7.7-ounce trout of his own.
Beau De Coteau and Tara Boomer were fishing together at the lake, and they came in first and second in the 6-and-younger division.
De Coteau checked in a 1-pound, 7.7-ounce catfish, while Boomer had a 1-pound, 7.3-ounce catfish.
Noah Phillips placed third with a 1-pound, 5.9-ounce catfish.
Finishing behind Everton in the 7-to-10 age group were Aiden Fincher (1-pound, 6.8-ounce catfish) and Mason Mellinger (1-pound, 4.1-ounce trout).
The derby drew 148 entrants this year, slightly down from the 162 from a year ago.
But with the sun shining bright throughout the day, it made for a good day of fishing, according to Ted Blaylock of the Optimist Club.
“The fish were biting well and the weather was great. Everybody had a great time,” Blaylock said. “The many improvements the City of La Grande continues to make around the lake has enhanced the setting and will continue to draw more and more recreationists to the lake.”