Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online


July 30, 2013

Falls man wins Derby boat & trailer

Many prizes given away at July 21 Erie Canal Derby Banquet



“They were talking strategy for the 2014 derby in the car on the way here,” said Rose (Distefano) Velesko, Jacob’s mom.
“It was the biggest one I ever caught, but I didn’t know I finished in first place until I got a phone call,” Jacob said. “When I caught it, my dad was like, ‘Oh my God, don’t lose it, don’t lose it.’ It took me about 15 minutes to reel it in.”
Jacob, 9, a fifth grader at Medina, said the best part of being in the derby was the time he spent with his family.
“It was a lot of fun fishing with my dad and mom. We saw some some funny things. We saw a deer crossing the canal once. It was hilarious. I fished in the derby every single day. You never know when you’re going to get a hit on something and maybe win a prize.”
Veteran Derby participant James Kelkenberg of Lockport placed third this year in the adult Northern Pike class, but held the division lead for a few days. He said the only negative thing about the derby was the recent downpour.
“It was awful muddy after that rain,” said James, who was accompanied by his son, Lee, a past Derby division winner.
Also attending was Lockport’s Jonathan Frey, 13, an incoming freshman at Lockport High School, and the grandson of former Lockport alderman Alvin Frey, who placed second in the walleye class with a 6.21-pound catch.
“I’ve won daily prizes in the Derby before, but this is the highest I’ve finished,” Jonathan said, adding that he had his fish weighed at Les Allen Bait & Tackle on Hawley Street in Lockport.
Prizes were also given out for the three Derby participants who caught tagged fish. They are Lockport’s Jeff Kinney, Tonawanda’s Emma Sexton and Gasport’s George Frombgen, who has never missed a Derby or awards banquet since it began 23 years ago.

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