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Fishing derby aims to hook youngsters

POULSBO — Fishing is undoubtedly one of the most popular leisure sports in the United States. But it’s been catching fans well before 1776.

The North Kitsap High School FFA and the Poulsbo Noon Lions hope to do so today as they lure children to the horticulture pond on Noll Road with the promise of hooking trout.

From 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. the 16th annual kids fishing derby makes a splash as it invites children in the sixth grade and younger to test the waters.

Approximately 300 people are expected and will work in concert with nearly 50 community volunteers to ensure very few “the one that got away” tales are told Sunday.

North Kitsap High School FFA advisor John Waller said the horticulture pond has been stocked with about 500 rainbow trout from the Nisqually Trout Farm for the derby. Waller credits the Poulsbo Lions Club for making that a reality.

“The donation of money the Lions Club put forth went directly to getting fish put in the pond,” Waller said. “Kids will be catching fish between 10 and 14 inches long.”

FFA officer Chelsea Schultz said she enjoys seeing the smiles on children’s faces while they’re casting their lines into the pond while their family members look on.

“It’s great to see all of the kids come to this. They seem to have a really good time,” she said. “It’s nice to see our community come together.”

Waller thinks children can develop a lifelong passion for fishing if they just give it a try.

“It’s all about family fun. It’s a good chance for kids to enjoy their surroundings on a Saturday fishing with their mom and dad,” he said. “They’re learning a lifelong skill.”

Many children love to fish, but rarely get a chance to cast their line into the water. Waller said the derby gives these children that chance.

“A lot of kids love fishing but they don’t get an opportunity to do it,” he said. “This derby is right here in their backyard. We want to make that opportunity available for those kids who want fish.”

Throughout the derby, a raffle contest will take place featuring a wide assortment of prizes donated from various businesses in the area. Perhaps, the biggest highlight of the event will be the annual big fish contest.

“Whoever catches the biggest fish will get a prize at the end of the day,” Waller said.

He wouldn’t reveal what the big fish winner’s prize would be. The prize will literally be a surprise.

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