Six win prizes in 19th annual Taylor Rotary Fishing Derby

Nicholas Grepes stole the show in his very first fishing tournament.

Grepes, 12, caught fish totaling 9.2 pounds to take first place in the senior division of the 19th annual Taylor Rotary Fishing Derby held Saturday during the Meijer Taylor Summer Festival at Heritage Park.

Grepes won the tournament by catching carp in the park’s Coan Lake. His catch of the day was 4 pounds.

Nicholas Wesner, also 12, took second place with 3.4 pounds worth of fish. Klayton Williams, 10, snagged 2.7 pounds – good for third place. He tied for fifth in 2006. Both boys are from Taylor.

Kyle Yeary of Southgate repeated as junior division champion. The 8-year-old caught 6.2 pounds of fish. Last year, he was the overall top fisherman with 7.6 pounds.

Alexis Limas of Taylor led all females with 3.4 pounds – good enough for second place in the junior division. Charlie Naylor, a 6-year-old Taylor boy, caught 1.8 pounds to finish third. He was tied for fourth last year.

The tournament is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Taylor, which provides prizes, T-shirts and refreshments. One hundred and four young fishermen registered in the senior (ages 9-12) or junior division (5-8).

In addition to a trophy and some new fishing gear, Grepes received an actual alligator head from a former 110-pound gator, which was brought to Taylor for the event by Elmer DePlanche, a former Taylor resident who travels to the city annually from Lake Placid, Florida, to serve as weigh master.

Sharon Vespremi of the Taylor Department of Golf, Parks and Recreation thanked parents for introducing their children to the sport of fishing. She also thanked DePlanche and the Rotary for sponsoring the tournament and many other positive activities in the city. Rotary President Phil Matous of Taylor Community Credit Union congratulated the winners.

(For more photos of the Meijer Taylor Summer Festival, including the Taylor Rotary Fishing Derby, check out the photo galleries, coming soon, at The Rotary also has posted photos from the derby at

-- Dave Gorgon

Taylor Rotary President Phil Matous congratulates the top anglers in the 19th annual Taylor Rotary Fishing Derby at Heritage Park: Nicholas Grepes, Nicholas Wesner, Klayton Williams, Kyle Yeary, Alexis Limas and Charlie Naylor.