Georgetown, Mass. man lands top fish in Winni Derby
LACONIA — Organizers of the 32nd annual Winni Derby say a polygraph test is being scheduled for later this week to determine if the grand prize winner’s catch was caught in Lake Winnipesaukee, while adding at this time there’s no reason to doubt his fish story.
“We’re pretty confident he’ll pass,” said Winni Derby Chair Diane LaBrie.
‘He’ is Todd Gilbo of Georgetown, Mass., the grand prize winner in the Adult Salmon category with a catch weighing 3.98 pounds and measuring 22.625 inches. He will receive a $10,000 prize for landing the top fish.
Lake trout division winner Anthony Antonis of Gilford will receive $5,000 for his top catch of 5.48 pounds and 24.74 inches. The grand prize winner in the junior salmon division, Nicholas Gelinas of Loudon, and junior lake trout division champion Myles Muir, will each receive $2,500. Gelinas’ catch weighed 3.32 pounds. and measured 21 inches, while Muir’s catch topped the scales at 3.98 pounds and 22.25 inches. Last year the junior division salmon winner received a boat instead of a cash prize.
New this year were 10 drawings over the weekend for $100 prizes for registered Derby participants.
The third annual Rick Davis Sportsman’s Award, presented to the fisherman whose salmon is closest in weight to the average weight of salmon landed during the derby, went to James Day of Parsonsfield, Maine, who landed a salmon weighing 2.94 pound and measuring 21.125 inches.
LaBrie said between 1,300 and 1,400 entries were received for this year’s derby, the largest salmon tournament on the lake. The event has become a tradition for many fishermen over the years.
“Many families take part, and people who fished it as children are back here with their kids,” said LaBrie, who has headed up the Derby since the Laconia Rotary Club took over responsibility for it when its founder, Rick Davis, stepped down four years ago.
LaBrie said she was touched by what she called a moment of “true sportsmanship” in this year’s Derby.
“We require all prize winners to be present to win,” said LaBrie. “As we handed out the daily prizes, there was one junior who was not present at the time we called his name. We announced his name three times, and then moved on to the next entry. I hate to see it when a child doesn’t get what he or she earned.”
LaBrie said after the awards ceremony, the father of the child who missed the award asked to speak with her. As he started to say that they had arrived late and missed the calling of the name, she heard a young voice next to her speak up.
“The boy who won the next prize down, Ethan Kinney from Hancock, heard that the boy had arrived too late to receive his prize. Ethan made the surprising choice to give his award to the boy, Adam, since Adam had earned it. I was so moved, I gave him a big hug. You don’t see that type of sportsmanship anymore.”