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Hundreds try to land the big one at Marysville Fishing Derby

Eight-year-old Trina Davis looks at a trout she just caught as Barry Martin of the Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club congratulates her during the annual fishing derby at Jennings Memorial Park May 1. - Adam Rudnick
Eight-year-old Trina Davis looks at a trout she just caught as Barry Martin of the Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club congratulates her during the annual fishing derby at Jennings Memorial Park May 1.
— image credit: Adam Rudnick

MARYSVILLE — The only way Trina Davis would have been soggier was if she had fallen in the drink.

But that didn’t matter. What mattered was she caught a fish.

The 8-year-old Marysville girl, whose pigtails were dripping with rain water, beamed as Barry Martin of the Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club held up her catch — a nearly 4-pound trout.

“This is the biggest fish she’s ever caught,” said Vikashni Davis, Trina’s mother.

Trina wasn’t the only youngster to reel in a fish.

Approximately 300 fishing enthusiasts, parents and their children braved rainy weather Saturday, May 1, during the 19th annual free fishing derby at Kiwanis Pond in Jennings Memorial Park.

The event was put on by the Marysville Kiwanis Club, the salmon and steelhead club and the city of Marysville Parks and Recreation Department.

John Martinis, derby organizer, Kiwanis member and owner of John’s Sporting Goods, said that the derby is a good way to introduce children to fishing for the first time.

“It builds excitement for the kids,” Martinis said. “The idea is to get them excited and share fishing with their kids when they grow up. I still remember going to Heart Lake with my dad when I was young.”

Organizers don’t raise any money from the event — Martinis said that the Kiwanis’ pancake breakfast, which took place concurrently with the derby, pays for the four bicycles and fishing equipment that are given away through a random drawing.

“Nobody’s making a penny,” Martinis said. “It just kind of funds itself.”

Jack Blair, member of the salmon and steelhead club, spent most of the morning handing out fishing poles to parents and their children.

While parents were encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment, the club’s team of volunteers stayed busy untangling line and adjusting the drag on reels that were handed out.

“We have to keep these drags really loose,” Blair said about the reels. “As long as they’re catching fish, that’s what it’s all about.”

Derby attendees spent most of the morning Saturday huddled around the pond with their lines in the water and their hoods in the upright position.

Marysville resident Juan Martinez, who brought his two children Elizabeth, 6, and Edgar, 8, said his family is familiar with fishing.

“We do it on the weekends when we can,” Martinez said. “Every year we look forward to this. It’s pretty easy for them to have fun and they aren’t disappointed.”

Martinis said that even though fewer community members showed up to this year’s derby due to the rain, he was pleased with how it went.

“It’s just fun to come out here every year — it’s a great community event,” Martinis said. “These were the biggest fish we’ve ever had.”

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