The 36th annual event kicks off with a June 2 dinner and helps local charities

You’re going fishing anyway, so why not make it interesting?

You have until June 9 to register for the 36th Canandaigua Lake Trout Derby, and the fishing commences June 10 with a finish on June 11. It’s an event that’s become a staple of summer and not only are cash prizes available for categorical winners, proceeds of the derby benefit local charities.

So yeah, everyone wins. And even if you’re not among the top finishers, being outside and on the water in the month of June is a commendable consolation.

“It’s a great opportunity to get a day or two on a beautiful body of water and take a chance on some prize money,” said derby co-chairperson Mark Farnsworth. “It’s something that people who love to fish are inclined to do anyway.”

While the fishing starts June 10, the derby itself actually gets started on June 2. That’s the night of the dinner at Ray’s Restaurant, 2510 Rochester Road. Last year’s dinner was the first for the event and it was a big success, said Farnsworth. 

This year, the dinner is an Italian buffet from 6 to 8 p.m. The $10 tickets are available at the main office and Lakeshore Ave. branches of Canandaigua National Bank and Trust. Raffles and a silent auction are again part of the dinner and proceeds from the dinner and the derby go toward the three charities: Camp Good Days, Mercy Flight Central and Hospeace House in Naples.

“We had a fantastic reaction to the dinner last year and we’re really excited to have it back this year,” said Farnsworth.

Farnsworth expects between 250 and 400 anglers to register for the derby, with an entry fee of $20. Cash prizes are awarded to the top three in the following categories: Biggest of any trout species ($1,000 for first, $750 for second, $500 for third), brown trout, lake trout and rainbow trout. The top three fish in each of those divisions pay $200, $100 and $50. The grand prize winner also can have the fish mounted by Ric and Annette Cleveland at the Flint Creek Taxidermy Studio in Rushville.

Last year, Les Breuer’s 16.18-pound brown trout was the overall winner. Scott Woodard’s 10.15 brown won the brown division, Jerry Perrin won the lake division with his 11.11-pound fish and the 5.85-pound rainbow trout was a winner for Julia Priolo.

Weigh stations will again be located at the Inn on the Lake in Canandaigua for the north end, and at the Sawmill Restaurant in Woodville for the south end.

To register for the derby, go to the Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce website.