Two hundred pounds of farm-raised trout will be trucked in for kids 16 and under to test their angling skills. The fishing hole, a 4,000-gallon folding tank courtesy of the East Contra Costa Fire District, will be located in the Bethel Island Park adjacent to Scout Hall. Rods, tackle and bait are all provided and fish will be cleaned and packaged to be taken home.
The day begins at 9:30 a.m. inside Scout Hall with an hour-long water safety presentation featuring the California Department of Boating and Waterways AquaSMART program.
Event organizer Dan Marsh from the Bethel Island Junior Municipal Advisory Council (a branch of the BI MAC) emphasizes the importance of including a safety message in the day of fishing fun. Several years ago this event was all water safety. The trout fishing was added a few years ago as a hook to get more kids and their parents to attend.
To be sure, the early bird will get lots more than a worm for his or her turn at the fish pond. The California Striped Bass Association will be handing out goody bags to each child and free colored raffle marbles redeemable for everything from lures to rods and reels. All attendees will be treated to a free hot dog lunch and soda courtesy of the CSBA and the Bethel Island Chamber of Commerce.
Fishing lasts till 3 p.m. or until the last lunker is hauled to shore. Moms and dads are encouraged to join their youngsters and take a turn baiting hooks, netting each wiggly catch and staffing the fish-cleaning station.
Meanwhile, don't forget the goings on inside Scout Hall. The CSBA has once again assembled some of the area's top bass anglers, fishing guides and marine service providers. Lectures, demonstrations and displays of the latest in fishing equipment will fill the hall.
The annual event serves as a kickoff to the 58th Annual Bethel Island Chamber of Commerce Striped Bass Tournament scheduled for Nov. 18 through 25. For more information, contact the Bethel Island Chamber of Commerce at 684-3220.