Children do not have to know how to fish - or even have their own rods, reel or bait - to participate in the 24th annual Kid's Fishing Derby sponsored by the Cape Coral Kiwanis Club.
The event will be held Saturday, April 21, at the Cape Coral Yacht Club Fishing Pier, with registration by 8:30 a.m. with the event starting then and lasting until 11:30 a.m. for children ages 5 to 15. No advance registration is required, but officials suggest you come early.
The first 375 children registered that need the free rods and reels to participate will get them, courtesy of proceeds from the two local Kiwanis Club Thrift Store operations, said Fishing Derby Chairman Wally Laumeyer.
If you have your own, bring them in case of a large crowd.
"We are also going to give away 14 bicycles as door prizes," he said.
He's been personally involved with the event for the last 24 years.
Cape Coral KIwanis Club
24th Annual Kid's Fishing Derby
Saturday, April 21
8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Cape Coral Yacht Club
Fishing Pier, Driftwood Parkway
Cost and information
Ages 5 to 15
No advance registration
Come to pier to check in before 8:30 a.m.
"I'm an old fisherman from Minnesota, and a semi-retired auctioneer." He's been a Cape Coral resident for the last 32 years.
"The goal of the event is to give children a chance to start fishing at a young age, especially those who would otherwise not have the opportunity. This is a great opportunity for Kiwanis that is so well supported by the community, to give something back."
Club members will teach the young participants how to fish if they aren't experienced.
"We get a lot of our people, and this is the fun part - we give trophies for the biggest fish and also one for the smallest. We always get a kick out of that.
"Some of these kids have never had a fishing pole in their hands and we are a waterfront community. It's such a thrill to see some of these kids catch their first fish."
Fishing is a very healthy hobby for children, he said.
"If we can just keep one kid out of getting in trouble by starting fishing, then it is well worth it."
If you want to support the two thrift stores for this annual and other events, they are located at 708 S.E. 47th Terrace and 652 Del Prado Blvd. N.
"This Fishing Derby is a great family day with the members where we get the parents together with the kids and we have a lot of fun doing it."