Fishing derby reels in families to campus

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

More than 80 UNC Charlotte faculty and staff members and their families gathered Saturday, March 25, at Hechenbleikner Lake for the inaugural Chancellor’s Fishing Derby.

Located near the main entrance of campus, Hechenbleikner Lake is stocked with largemouth bass, crappie, carp, bluegill and bream. For this first catch-and-release derby, participants competed in three 45-minute sessions. Prizes were given for the most fish caught (total number), heaviest largemouth bass and the youngest participant to catch a fish.

"By all accounts, the inaugural Chancellor's Fishing Derby was a tremendous success," said Chancellor Phil Dubois. "My personal results were less than spectacular, but I hope the event will become an annual 49er tradition." 

In the derby’s first session, Facilities Management staffer Virgil Torrence caught three fish; the prize for youngest angler went to Lily Sonefeld.

Luke Hajduk caught a dozen fish in session two; while Nathan Hajduk’s 2-pound, 11-ounce fish was the largest catch of that session.

James Staehler, the youngest fisherman in sessions two and three, also was the most successful in the final session of the derby. However, a half-pound bass caught by Julia Wang earned “Biggest Bass” in the third session.

Prizes awarded included Chancellor’s Box seats to a UNC Charlotte basketball or football game and gift cards from Barnes & Noble at UNC Charlotte.

Chancellor Dubois, Recreational Services and the UNC Charlotte Bass Fishing Club hosted this special faculty and staff event. Proceeds from the contest benefit the UNC Charlotte Bass Fishing Club.

Event co-sponsors included Riley’s Catch, Barnes & Noble at UNC Charlotte, Bass Pro Shops, Canteen, Farm Bureau, Pepsi, the Popp Martin Student Union and the Cone University Center.

Check out more photos from the Chancellor’s Fishing Derby on the University’s Flickr gallery.