Today is the last day that children can register for the annual Kid's All American Fishing Derby.
Hosted by the Cape Coral Parks and Recreation Department, the event will take place Saturday from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Cape Coral Yacht Club beach pavilion and pier. It is open to children ages 5 to 15.
"It's for everybody," Barbara Dickinson, club manager of the Cape Coral Yacht Club, said.
The derby will start off with some angler education, provided by fishing Capt. George Howell.
"We go over the rules of the contest," she added.
Then the children will fish for about two hours, with an awards presentation to follow.
If You Go:
What: Kid's All American Fishing Derby
Saturday, June 7, from 8 to 11 a.m.
Where: Cape Coral Yacht Club, 5819 Driftwood Parkway
Cost: $8 per child, includes lunch
Dickinson explained that the participants can catch any type of fish for the contest. Trophies will be awarded for the smallest fish, largest fish and most fish caught in two age groups, 5-9 and 10-15.
She estimated that the smallest fish ever caught at the event was just over 2 inches.
During the awards presentation, the children will be provided with a lunch of hotdogs and chips. Parents or others present with a participating angler can also enjoy lunch at a cost of $2.50.
Free door prizes will be given away, and each child will take home a goodie bag.
"We give everybody a raffle ticket when they come in," Dickinson said.
West Marine donated tackle boxes, fishing gloves, lures and more to hand out.
"All kinds of things related to fishing," she said.
The cost to participate is $8 per child.
"We can take up to 100," Dickinson said. "Last year, we had 109."
As of Thursday, approximately 65 spots had been filled.
"We have about 35 spots left," she said.
To sign up, contact the Cape Coral Yacht Club at (239) 574-0806 or stop by the facility. When registering a child over the telephone, the payment can be made using a credit card.
"We prefer that they register in advance," Dickinson said. "We can take some day of."
The annual derby has been taking place for more than 15 years.
Many of the children are repeat participants, but there are first-timers as well.
According to Dickinson, one child started taking part years ago and did so every year until he outgrew the derby. The now 16-year-old still shows up, volunteering his time to assist the younger children.
"He started out as a participant. Now he comes back every year as a helper," she said.
Children must bring their own fishing rod and tackle, but bait will be provided.
"Come by and give it a try," Dickinson said. "It's a nice day, and we've got a beautiful fishing pier."
For more information on the Kid's All American Fishing Derby, visit: www.capecoral.net.