Everybody was a winner at the Marr Pond Free Fishing Day Celebration, but the extended Thill and Stockham families from Gooding, Idaho, took home the grand prize for biggest fish. The Idaho family “loves, loves, loves” Wallowa County and the fishing events especially.
“What an amazing event,” said Troy Thill. “We did it last year and had so much fun we came back this year — kids love it!”
Three generations of Thills and Stockhams were represented, with two and a half sets of grandparents — 11 adults in all, and five kids.
Cougar Stockham, 6, won the grand prize with the biggest fish for his age division (7 and under) and the biggest fish overall — a whopping 19.25-inch trout. His secret ... he wasn’t divulging. His mom said it was “patience, lots of patience,” but one of the grandpas confided to the newspaper that it was also the marshmallows atop the worm bait.
Gavin Schaeffer, 6, of Wallowa, came in second with a fish nearly as big as he was, measuring 15½ inches.
Third place went to Malcolm Alby, 7, (hometown unknown).
Samantha Sanchez, 8, of Enterprise, took first in her division (8 to 10) with a big 16.75-inch fish. Sam doesn’t touch the fish, but she sure can catch them. She brought in a second fish measuring 16.625 inches as well.
Second place in 8-10 division was won by Cougar’s cousin, Brady Thill, 8, of Gooding, Idaho.
Third went to Kasey Adkins, 8, (hometown unknown).
Boone Harrod, 14, of Enterprise, took home the first in his division (11 and older) with a fish measuring 16.5 inches. Second went to Jeremy Vauthier, 12, (hometown unknown). Third went to Justus Even, 14, Enterprise.
Several fishers reported seeing a “lunker’ cruising the depths, but that fish couldn’t be tempted to bite on Saturday.
The casting contest winners are Luke Patterson, Eli Williams and Grant James.