University City

Dads, kids catch a good time at fishing tournament

The Davis Lake community got together this month for some fishing fun.

The inaugural Davis Lake Father's Day Fishing Tournament was open to Davis Lake property owners, and 22 participants cast their lines for the tournament.

Residents age 2 through 52 fished on Father's Day, then met at the community's clubhouse for lunch and prizes.

The lake is open year-round to Davis Lake Homeowners Association members. Though this is the first year of the Father's Day Tournament, there have been other lakeside events, including the annual Light up the Lake, in which lakefront homeowners decorate the banks with lighted sparkle.

"We have a beautiful lake, and we want to make sure every (homeowner) comes out and enjoys it," said Steve Duis, a 10-year resident and one of six members of the community's social committee. The committee plans events for Davis Lake HOA members throughout the year.

The fishing tournament offered prizes and certificates for first fish caught, smallest and largest fish, and most fish in four age categories: age 2-5, 6-10,11-15, and 16 and older. Every participant received a certificate.

Not only was the tournament fun and family oriented, it was an educational experience for those new to the community and to fishing.

Resident fishing "professional" Joe Fass gave a demonstration on how to fish, which included tying knots, baiting a hook, casting and reeling in your catch. Fass has participated in several tournaments.

"I've been fishing most of my life," he said." "When I was a kid, my father got me hooked on fishing, and I've just always enjoyed doing it."

Fass and the social committee also provided tournament participants with a handout with casting tips and the types of fish found in the lake.

The lake is stocked with four types of fish (large-mouth bass, perch, sunfish and bluegill) and is serviced by local company Foster Lake Management. "They manage the health of the lake (such as) adding lily pads and maintaining fish population," said Duis. The lake is catch-and-release, which lessens the cost and need for repopulation.

The amenities Davis Lake Community offers, such as the lake, are what drew many of the residents to the neighborhood. "There are only about 50 homes on the lake, but the amenities, lake, pool, tennis courts, are open to all the members of our HOA," said Duis.

Bob Bird, a 16-year resident, said, "We like the lake a lot, and the pool. There are a lot of people that have a good time here."

Being with family and neighbors was the highlight of the day for most participants.

"The best part of the tournament is spending time with my kids and family for Father's Day," said Frank Lorio, proud father of two daughters.

Anne Frances Lorio, 10, liked "helping people with the fish" most. She caught eight fish during the tournament. Katie Wilkowski, 10, was also excited to go on her first fishing excursion and being with her dad, Eric, and sister.

"I caught only one, but it was a really big one," Katie said.