The 52nd Naples Creek Rainbow Trout Derby promises to be a colorful display of rainbow trout catches once the competition begins Monday morning.
Naples Creek, a feeder stream at the south end of Canandaigua Lake, attracts sizeable schools of rotund rainbows as waters gradually warm and daylight hours increase each spring. Weather and stream conditions appear promising for trout trekkers entered in the 2013 version of the Naples Derby.
Department of Environmental Conservation stocking studies and area observers have seen good numbers – and some bruiser-sized ‘bows – moving up Naples Creek. Trout occasionally move up Naples whenever water flows allow fish passage, but streamside walkers have viewed the increased pre-spawn run for about two weeks so far this early-spring season.
All of this activity should draw additional entrants to the derby following Easter weekend. Both registration sites will be open today in Naples. Sutton’s Sporting Goods on Main Street remains open during business hours today; derby headquarters at the Naples Fire Hall on Vine Street will be open today from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. and on Monday from 4 a.m. to sunrise for registrants.
Newly established catch regulations for western Finger Lakes streams now allow anglers a daily creel limit of only one rainbow trout; other trout species remain at three or five fish.
Hence, Naples Derby officials have eliminated the First Limit category, but all other major trophies and awards will be presented during an awards gathering at the Naples Fire Hall at 5 p.m. on Monday.
To keep this a fun competition that honors successful anglers and supports Naples Rotary Club community service projects, winning entrants receive trophies and merchandise prizes; cash prizes are not awarded.
Modest entry fees of $8 for adults and $5 for kids under age 16 and seniors ages 65 and older allow entrants to bring in one rainbow trout for a weigh-in and measurement. Successful anglers – award winners or not – receive a choice of merchandise items and a bottle of Hazlitt Redcap Cellars wine (for ages 21 and older) or a bottle of grape juice for those under age 21.
Naples Derby, the longest continuously held fishing contest in New York State, opens the statewide trout season each year with surprises.
One year, the planned contest had to be canceled because of high flooding that April 1. But all kinds of oddities each of the previous 50 contests have greeted anglers.
Each year offers a whole new set of stream, weather and fish-feeding conditions.
Look for Naples Derby winning results and contest outcomes in a column on next Sunday’s Outdoors Page.