Hooked On Camp Fishing Derby

Plenty of fish, fun, cookies and socks in 2018


While the fish didn’t really bite until the final hour, anglers at the Hooked on Camp Fishing Derby enjoyed a great day on Lake Broyhill and got some special treats during Camp Blue Skies’ annual fundraiser Sept. 27-28 at YMCA Camp Harrison in Boomer, NC.

Here’s a look at the fishing highlights of the day (and be sure to watch the video):

SAVE THE DATE: The 2019 Hooked on Camp Fishing Derby is Sept. 26-27. Want to reserve your boat now? Email Mary@CampBlueSkies.org

  • Total fish caught: 217

  • Most fish caught by a single team: Keith Wall and Jeremy Diggs, 53

  • Largest Large Mouth Bass: Jake Runkle, 4lbs., 4oz.

  • Largest Blue Gill: Jimmy Warren, 1 lb, 2 oz.

  • Smallest Fish: Jake Runkle, 0.75 oz.

The annual event raised $20,000 to provide financial assistance to bridge the gap between tuition rate and the true cost per camper. The 2018 derby helped cover those costs for 25 adults with developmental disabilities.

Hooked On Camp Fishing Derby 2018 photo

Camper Carolyn Sampson welcomed fishermen with a smile as bright as the sun when they returned to the dock for the weigh-in. She shared her love of Camp Blue Skies at the awards luncheon. Carolyn and her mother Elise provided dessert: A yummy selection of gluten-free cookies from Reason To Bake, the Sampsons’ small-batch bakery in Pisgah Forest, NC. We highly recommend checking out the cookies at ReasonToBake.com.

A delicious barbecue lunch was generously donated by Tipton’s Bar-B-Que in Wilkesboro. We highly recommend Tipton’s, too.

The 2018 winners’ trophies were handcrafted by Darin White of HAVA Studios.

Anglers received a goodie bag with a lure, Camp Blue Skies swag, and fishing-themed socks from John’s Crazy Socks. John Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome who loves colorful socks, founded the company in 2016 with his father, Mark. And yes, we hope John comes to camp someday as a camper!

Special thanks to Brooks Runkle, Derby Chairman, and Gene Vaughan, Derby Captain!

Thank you to the following sponsors, donors, and guides for their support:

Tipton Bar-B-Que
YMCA Camp Harrison

Kim Baker
Tom Hucks
Kevin Ingle
Todd Low
Todd Lynn
Jamie Morgan
John Morse
Johnathan Shew
Wayne Spencer
James Summers
Mark Vaughan