Hundreds of anglers descended on the Grand River in Kitchener for the annual bass fishing derby.

Davis Fleischer, who grew up in Kitchener and returns from Toronto every year to participate, has been casting a line in the derby for as long as he can remember.

He’s been fishing with his grandfather, Peter Kozak, since he was six years old and over the years, has developed a passion for the sport and says he enjoys spending time with his family.

With his cousin at his side, Fleischer spent the weekend in a canoe hoping for a bite.

“This was probably one of the toughest derbies I’ve fished in,” says Fleisher. “Definitely the least amount of fish I’ve caught but here it’s quality over quantity.”

His persistence paid off on Sunday when he reeled in a small mouth bass measuring 21.125 inches in length. Organizers say this is the largest fisher ever caught in the tournament’s history.

“The thrill of when you have a big one on the line and you want to see how big it is and reeling it in,” says Fleischer. “The adrenaline really gets going, your blood gets going.”

Kozak says he can still remember giving his grandson pointers about properly setting a hook and today his guidance has paid off.

“After all these years of trying to teach him how to get that big one,” says Kozak. “Finally he came through.”

Nearly 400 anglers took to the Grand River to participate in the event this year.