The water level in the lake is on the rise, the carp are in the bay and last weekend I saw a number of kids down at the end of the wharf with their fishing rods.
All good signs for the upcoming 19th Annual Salmon Arm Kid’s Fishing Derby which will be held Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21 down at the wharf. Everything seems to be falling into place – as it usually does just prior to the derby. The organizers and volunteers pretty much know what needs to be done and have been going doing everything from putting up posters to organizing the trophies and prizes.
There is, however, one thing that will be different this year. Due to circumstances beyond my control I won’t be able to be there.
I’ve been working on this year’s derby since a few days after last year’s and now I can’t be there to watch all the fun and excitement. For the past 18 years I have looked forward to the derby – probably as much, if not more, than the kids. Each year, I have made my way down to the end of the wharf at 5 o’clock in the morning to help set up and spent the rest of the morning well, watching all the kids and their families having a good time together. The derby means a lot to me. I started the year after my father passed away, in his honour and as a way to show my gratitude for all the times he took us kids fishing. The way I see it, there are worse things (than fishing) that kids might do.
The Annual Salmon Arm Kid’s Fishing Derby is open to all children 12 years of age and under. There is no cost to enter the derby. Registration takes place Sunday morning, beginning at 6 a.m., at the end of the wharf. The only restrictions are that each child must be accompanied by an adult, and wear a life-jacket or PFD. Six certified lifeguards are on duty throughout the event. Some life-jackets are available for children who do not have one. Only coarse fish are eligible for trophies and prizes, and, fish must be caught and played by the child – an adult, however, can assist in netting a fish.
An awards ceremony will take place immediately following the derby at the end of the wharf, where the trophies and major prizes will be handed out.
The winner of the annual Kid’s Fishing Derby will receive the Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union – W.J. (Bill) Murray Memorial Trophy, an IM-6 graphite rod-and-reel outfit, and they will get to take their whole family on an all-expenses- paid weekend fishing trip to Beaver Lake Lodge, which will include accommodations, boat and motor, and $100 worth of groceries.
Second- and third-place winners will receive rod-and-reel outfits.
The lucky angler who lands the first fish of the derby will receive the Westside Stores Trophy, a rod-and- reel outfit, and a $100 gift certificate from Westside Stores.
Two anglers who catch fish closest to predetermined “secret weights” will have their names inscribed on the Canadian Tire Trophy and will each win a brand new, shiny mountain bike.
The angler who manages to catch the most fish will receive the City of Salmon Arm Trophy, a rod-and-reel outfit and a one-year pass to the rec centre swimming pool. Second- and third- place winners will receive rod-and-reel outfits.
As in previous years, there will be a parent appreciation draw prize. Adults receive one draw ticket for each child they register. At the award ceremony, one lucky person will win $300 worth of groceries from Askew’s Foods.
I will truly miss being at this year’s Kid’s Fishing Derby. Then again, it’s never too early to start planning for next year’s derby.