I have just returned from taking one of my grandsons to the Kiwanis Kids Fishing Derby at the Cape Coral Yacht Club pier.
As with the last 23 years, the event appeared to be a big success. There were more than 300 kids who attended, with more than 280 fish being brought over the pier’s railings.
The most prestigious award, the one for the smallest fish caught, went to Austin. Actually a young lady named Alysia had the smallest; however, she was not present to accept her accolades.
On the girls side with the largest fish at 12 inches was Kenna. Second place was filled by Jamie at 11 inches and a 9-inch beauty gave Janessa the third-place trophy.
For the boys, in third place was Derrick with a 10-incher. Then we had Brandon catching a 12½-inch fish for second place. Mathew managed to catch the largest fish of the day at 16¾ inches, which garnered the first-place trophy for him.
Along with the seven trophies that were presented, 14 bikes were also given out as door prizes. Each child also got to bring home the rod and reel they were given upon registering.
The Kiwanis Club spent more than $5,000 for our kids and grandkids while charging them nothing. This all comes from your support of its thrift stores.
Now my question that comes out of my experience is, what are we teaching our kids? Remember, this is a friendly derby to introduce our children to a world of fishing that a lot of us love and enjoy.
What did I observe? I saw the Kiwanians there, ready to support and help your children. I saw a lot of young children having a good time.
Then, I also saw parents who were so competitive, they were fishing for their kids. One of the ones I am thinking about was a gentleman who was running four fishing rods for his son.
The man I observed was using four rods and he would keep the lines in the water while the boy went up to have the fish measured. Then when he returned, his dad would tell him which one had another fish on it to be measured. The joke was on Dad because there was no trophy for the most fish.
Another example happened to my grandson and I am just as guilty.
With about 15 minutes left to go a lady asked my grandson if he would like to turn in a spade fish she had caught, since she could not find her son. He said “Yes” and off he went. When he came back, he was asked if it had felt as good , turning in the fish she gave him as the one he caught. His reply, which made me feel good, was no, it was not near as good.
Now is the time for us to teach our kids to be ethical and conscientious of others.
Have the kids send me their thoughts on the derby and wave as they see the Tar Heel go by.
— Captain Sam O’Briant is a local licensed guide who can be reached at 994-1495, captobfishing.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.