Fishing, family, fun

By Helena Rodriguez

Reels for real kids:
Fishing Derby all about family, fun and fishing

By Helena Rodriguez
CNJ STAFF WRITER
Helena _Rodriguez@link.freedom.com
The 16th annual Optimist Club of Clovis Fishing Derby, scheduled Saturday at Ned Houk Park, is a way to get children away from the television and into the reeling outdoors, according to event organizers.
The event is free and open to children up to age 16. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at the back lake.
“Our main objective of the Fishing Derby is fun, fellowship and family,” said Jeff Baum, president of the Optimist Club of Clovis. “Our original theme was ‘get hooked on fishing, not drugs.’ It’s about promoting family and having a good time.”
Baum said one young fisherman told him the fishing derby “is the only time my dad takes me fishing.”
Children should bring their own rods. Prizes and goody bags will be given.
Fish will be weighed in between 11:30 a.m. and noon. Among prizes to be awarded are biggest-catch honors, as well as honors for having caught the most fish and the heaviest combined weight of fish. The competitions will be broken down into seven age categories.
Baum said 160 children participated in last year’s event.
While fish are expected to be biting, Baum said not every child will catch a fish. He said 42 children caught fish last year.
David Rael, another event organizer, said the lake is mostly stocked with trout and catfish.
“Five to six pounds is the largest size catfish I’ve seen caught,” Rael pointed out.
Rael said Saturday’s event will go on as planned, be it sunshine or rain.
According to Baum, the event’s success is not based on catches, but on lessons kids learn while fishing. In a fast-paced world, Baum said fishing teaches children patience.
For information contact Baum at 763-6563 or Rael at 762-9535.