NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Families gathered early Saturday morning at Oakwood Park in New Providence for the annual Fishing Derby, held by New Providence P.B.A. #132 and New Providence Recreation. More than 100 parents and children lined the pond’s edge for the festivities.

After Police Chief Anthony Buccelli gave a welcoming address, the attendees cast their lines. Fishers – all children 15 or under – raced to catch the 100 brown and rainbow trout.  “It’s a great event for the kids. We’ve been doing this for over 20 years,” said Chief Buccelli. Patricia Kummer of New Providence Recreation has been involved with the derby since its inception.

Those who caught the six 16-inch trout – the “monstrous lunkers” – earned a prize. Madison Wright, 11, won the first-place prize of an iPod Touch. The kids who caught four of the five remaining lunkers each received gift cards to Dick's Sporting Goods. One lunker remained uncaught.

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Officer Michael Hand, PBA #132 President, spoke about the importance of the event. “It brings out the community and helps start the spring season,” he said.

New Providence Recreation donated the trout for the event. The PBA donated the coffee, juice, donuts, bagels, and prizes. The New Providence EMS was also on hand.

The event concluded with Officer Michael Hand raffling off the last gift card and thanking attendees for fishing.

Event holders encourage adults with fishing licenses to continue fishing for the remaining trout.