Fish On! - Fishing Derby draws record crowd
August 28, 2008 · Updated 9:35 AM
MARYSVILLE Lucky No. 13 was a hit for the Marysville Youth Fish Derby at Jennings Memorial Park last weekend, with more kids dropping a line in the Kiwanis Fish Pond than ever before, according to organizers.
The May 5 derby drew the largest crowd in the 13 years the Marysville Parks and Recreation Department has held the event with the help of the Marysville Kiwanis Club and the Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club. The latter provided poles and expertise while the Kiwanis grilled pancakes, sausages and hot dogs nearby.
Cody Schoen was exulting in his victory over nature on the banks of Allen Creek early on.
It was cool, and it was the only fish Ive caught in my entire life, he explained.
Another eight-year-old was soon landing a fish nearby. Nathaniel Ludwig is an intense second-grader who attends Allen Creek Elementary School and he said he didnt have to wait long for a fish to find his hook. His favorite part of the Saturday morning was the pancakes and sausage breakfast at the picnic shelter, as he said he has caught fish before. Ludwig wasnt bothered by the crowded shores as fishers were repeatedly tangling lines and casting over each other; in fact he liked that the most.
Its awesome, its better than being out in a boat, Ludwig said as his father Scott pulled the hook from his sons fish. Its cool.
Dan Mongar is a resident of the Shoultes neighborhood to the north of town and he was tearing his hair out keeping track of four kids as they cast, reeled and hooked their way through the morning. In addition to two of his own he was nice enough to bring a couple neighbors.
Next time I need to bring six kids, Mongar joked as he scurried between emergencies.
The pond is stocked with trout each year before the derby and the masses of Marysville youth teeming over the shores ensured there will be no holdovers. According to parks department director Jim Ballew there were more than 600 participants in the free event at the half-way mark, and they had contributed more than a couple hundred pounds in donations of canned food for a local food bank.
Best event ever; weve run out of poles several times, Ballew said.
Gianna Hammer is a four-year-old Marysville girl who was getting a hand from Bill Merrill of the Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club. He was showing her how to display her catch without getting her fingers slimy. It was her first catch ever, according to her mother. Next to Gianna was five-year-old Colton Johnson, with his fish secured in a Ziploc bag. He was there with two-year-old sibling Jennika and mom and dad Christa and Brad. It was his second time at the derby.
Its fun to teach kids how to fish, Merrill said, stressing that the kids 12-and-under at the derby are the new generation of fishers. Its an edge to get them started.