Earlier this month T and I went to the 59th Annual Kids’ Fishing Rodeo sponsored by Alfredo’s Beach Club here in Long Beach (CA), the Southern California Tuna Club, Long Beach Parks, Recreation & Marine, along with several other partners.
Held every summer down at Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, this FREE event lures in local youth ages 16-and-under with: a free hot dog lunch; a chance to win trophies for best catch (or weirdest catch); an excellent chance to win one of dozens of FREE prizes raffled off at the end of the day (including poles, tackle boxes, T-shirts, and hats); and the opportunity simply to fish the morning away. I can’t think of a more classic and family-friendly way to spend a summer morning, can you RMT’ers?!
While Alfredo’s (the main sponsor) doesn’t provide rods and reels to kids during the event, several other clubs and sponsors come down to the docks stocked up with ample supplies that easily allows for any child to participate. Considering we have no fishing equipment of our own (and even less experience fishing really), this was fantastic news for us (and thank you again to the California Department of Fish and Game booth for our loaners!). There were also other local businesses there participating, like Deep Blue Swim School, and they made it a fun time for the kids, too.
Some of you RMT’ers might remember our fish tale from last summer; yeah, well, let’s just say that outing didn’t provide much by way of a fish dinner. However, what it did provide T and our family was a lovely new activity to embark upon together. Going fishing was not anything I grew up with unless you count the handful of times a bamboo pole was thrust upon me during the random day-camp outing here and there, or I can count the numerous times I played the card game “Go Fish.” Yeah, so for me as much as it is for T, the chance to fish is something new and exciting, even if it is a bit of a, well, frustrating experience (and that’s why it’s called fishing, not catching, right RMT’ers?!). I also seem to have passed along some of the “ick” factor in fishing to T, too (whoops).
Thankfully, T wasn’t completely at my mercy for baiting his hooks. A friend in our play group told us about this event, so we met up with him and his mom, and turns out she is quite the seasoned fisherman, er, woman. She grabbed those mackerel head-on (slippery little suckers they are!) and hook ‘em right up. She also could cast the line with the best of the regulars out there on the pier that morning; in fact, her casts at times were so distant they hit an adjoining mooring dock! And, when one of the kids nearby hooked a pigeon in flight with their cast, she was right there to assist volunteers in getting the hook and adjoining line untangled and detached to the point where the bird could at least walk away from the scene of the accident.
But not only was I extremely grateful for my friend’s hands-on assistance and patience with me, but her patience and instruction with the kids was awesome as well. She showed the kids (not just ours but those nearby, too) how to untangle lines when they got crossed. She also was great at picking a good spot for our kids to set up shop for the morning (right near the lunch line, and right across from the scales where everyone would walk up to get their catch weighed and measured). She also took the time to introduce the kids to some folks she knew associated with the event in case they had any questions about anything as the day unfolded.
So, I know you’re wondering, did the kids catch anything. No, no they did not (though his friend did score a nice new rod and reel in the raffle!), so T has his perfect fishing record in tact to date (0 catches). However, what I believe T caught was a nice experience with a friend that he can perhaps repeat for summers to come… and perhaps with more fish on the line next time!
While the Kids’ Fishing Rodeo has come and gone in Long Beach for the year, there’s still another local FREE kids’ fishing event to come, and it’s TOMORROW Saturday August 25, 2012! The 21st Annual Youth Fishing Derby at Seal Beach Pier starts with check-in from 7am to 9am, and the event runs from 7:30am until Noon. Just like Long Beach’s Kids’ Fishing Rodeo, the Seal Beach Youth Fishing Derby is a catch-weigh-release tournament and all bait is provided (they, too, will have loaner rods and reels available). Sponsored by the Los Alamitos/Seal Beach Rotary Club, this year’s event will again take place on the Seal Beach Municipal Pier (located in the city of Seal Beach, near the intersection of Main Street and Ocean Avenue). For more details about tomorrow’s event, please contact Rotary Club President Patricia Eskenazi at 562-431-9400.