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Local woman gearing up for Walleye Fishing Derby

By Jack Carver

Pro angler Ashley Rae is one of three big-time anglers scheduled to give a seminar at this weekend’s Walleye World Fishing Derby in Trenton.

In an e-mail interview, Rae said she was excited for the competition.

“This will actually be my fifth year participating in the derby. It’s one of my favourite events and I look forward to the tradition every year. I love seeing all the boats rolling through the community, and the buzz and excitement in the air. Maybe it’s just me, but when walleye season opens the Bay of Quinte is more alive.”

Rae will be giving a seminar on walleye fishing, some techniques she uses and kayak fishing. Other local fishing enthusiasts, David MacDonald of the company Lunkerhunt and “Big” Jim Mclaughlin will be giving seminars as well.

Rae has done numerous seminars on fishing tips and tricks, but still enjoys them as if it was her first.

“I have done about 15 seminars. It sounds like a lot, but I still feel excited and nervous as if it was one of the first. I really enjoy engaging with the audience and meeting people afterwards to hear their fishing stories.”

Coming up on its 32nd birthday, the Walleye World Fishing Derby has become one of the largest fishing derbies in North America, averaging around 5000 participants each year, said Events Coordinator Kristina Waltz.

The derby is a live-release event, which means that anglers are bringing the fish back alive and releasing them after they have been weighed. But fish aren’t the only thing the derby is giving back to the area. All proceeds made go to community initiatives and programs in Trenton, organized by the Trenton Kiwanis club.

Participants will be happy to hear that prizes have been added for each of the nine weigh stations from Brighton to Napanee this year. Higher valued draw prizes have been added as well. In fact, there is over $200,000 in cash prizes to be won.

Anyone looking to reel in his or her own big one can either register online at www.kiwaniswalleyeworld.com [1] or at the Pro Tackle or Canadian Tire here in Belleville.