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Rain doesn't put any damper on annual Kiwanis Fishing Derby
MARYSVILLE No one seemed positive, but the best guess from those on hand was that this weekend's Kiwanis Fishing Derby constituted the 19th annual event.
Still, no matter how many years kids and their families have gathered to reel in the fish from the Kiwanis pond at Jennings Memorial Park, the 2007 derby did feature a first, according to one observer.
One of numerous volunteers from the Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club on hand to help the young anglers, Bill Merrill said he saw something pulled out of the pond he'd never seen come from those waters.
The trophy had disappeared along with the young lady who had pulled it in, and Merrill didn't really say, but one assumes the golf club yanked from the bottom of the pond had seen better days.
While the golf club attracted some attention, what kids were really after were the hundreds of four or five pound rainbow trout stocked in the pond courtesy of the Marysville Kiwanis and other sponsors, including the Everett group.
A member of the local Kiwanis and the Everett fishing club, John Martinis was among the founders of the event roughly two decades ago. He said the trout all were of the rainbow or triploid variety. The latter designation means the fish have been sterilized. The idea is, according to Martinis and others, that the fish will concentrate on feeding and, thus, grow to a good size.
The derby was open to kids 12 and younger and Hailey Zacky, 3, was among the youthful anglers. She didn't have much to say to a reporter, but was concentrating on watching the line she had in the water.
"She's pretty excited," said dad Tony Zacky, noting the derby was Hailey's fist time going fishing.
"If I do catch a fish, I want to catch a big one," Hailey suddenly announced, before once more turning shy.
Bill Mattias, 9, wasn't shy at all in talking about the many fishing trips he's gone on with dad Peter. Bill was determined to catch one of the larger trout, hoping he said, to win the annual summer competition between he and his dad over who hauls in the biggest catch. By about 10 a.m., he hadn't much luck.
At age 10, Christian Bemberton said he is a veteran of the derby, though he hadn't caught anything after about an hour of effort. With the help of parents Peter and Laurie, he was determined to stay put until he was able to pull something to the shore.
Martinis said the founders of the derby simply wanted to give kids a chance to fish. He said after he got the initial idea, he simply made a few phone calls and things took off from there.
"It's just for the kids," said Martinis, a former Marysville resident who and owner of Mike's Sporting Goods in Everett. Martinis added the derby began fairly small, but admitted to some pride over how it has grown.
"It's progressed into a pretty big event," he said.
While it rained for the most of this year's derby, several observers said that's nothing unusual.
"It always rains," announced Mayor Dennis Kendall, who was on hand to watch the festivities.
"It rains every year," said Ben Bear, another volunteer from the Everett fish club. He said the group is a regular sponsor of the event and he enjoys helping the youngsters, especially those trying fishing for the first time.
"It's just a lot of fun for them and for us," Bear said.