2023 Great Parks Fishing Tournaments Kick Off

Fishin' Line

The 2023 Great Parks Fishing Tournaments have kicked off at an amazing rate. Big fish are being caught. The first two Bass Series events were held at Miami Whitewater Forest. Team Stephany and Rains put together a solid five fish limit that weighed 18.75 lbs. to take home win number one of the season. They brought another solid catch to the scales the following tournament weighing 16.48 lbs. to follow up their first win with another victory. Stephany brought in a certified Ohio lunker largemouth weighing 6.22 lbs., which took home big bass. Stephany and Rains are the team to beat after their consistent performance in the first two events.

Looking ahead, we shift to post-spawn bass fishing at Winton Woods Lake, where anglers will be fishing muddy water conditions on the largest lake in the park district. Don’t let the size deter you. Winton Woods Lake is home to a large population of largemouth in the one-to-two-pound class range. Anglers that put together a solid limit and then find the necessary kicker bite will be in contention for a top-three finish.

The catfish and carp teams have been reeling in the monsters that swim in Miami Whitewater, Winton, and especially Lake Isabella.  Rookie tournament angler Zach Thomas has made quite the splash, teaming up with tournament veteran Michael Staggs and winning back-to-back tournaments at two different locations. At the first night tournament held at Lake Isabella, Thomas and Staggs put together a whopping tournament sack of 118.24 lbs. of catfish with a total of five fish weighed. Thomas landed a big blue cat that took home big fish at 31.10 lbs. This young angler credits his success to “time on the water and patterning how these big fish behave depending on the weather, time of day, and what they are actively feeding on leading up to tournament day.” Staggs and Thomas have a strong lead in points heading into the last three events of the season.

Kid’s Mystery Fish continues to be a park-wide staple of family, fishing, and fun. Memorial Day weekend brought an amazing turnout of just over eighty kids to Lake Isabella to try their luck at catching the mystery fish. We invite all kids ages 0-15 to fish with us on our scheduled Mystery Fish days. The next event is on July 4th and will be held at Lake Isabella. The kids fish for a variety of species including bass, bluegills, trout, perch, and catfish. Any fish counts and any size of fish is weighed. For more information regarding fishing events or kids fishing, please visit greatparks.org.