Whopper of tale to tell: Reeling in fun at fishing derby
Lindsey Weik stared at the 3 1/2 pound-fish in the bag as if she expected it to jump out.
Perhaps this was because it had not been that long since the South Lake Tahoe 9-year-old had caught the trout.
“I was reeling it in slow. Then all of a sudden I felt something,” she said Sunday morning at Barron Lake in Meyers during the Kids’ Fishing Derby. Her eyes popped open when she saw the fish on her line.
Her father, Kirk Weik, stood proudly over his daughter. He sported his lucky hat and fishing vest for the father-daughter outing.
“It was a fighter, too — it swam back and forth here,” he said, pointing to an area close to the shore.
The duo shared their secrets.
“The trick is to cover the hook,” he said, as Lindsey nodded.
When asked what she used for bait, she picked up a colorful goop called Powerbait. Even though Powerbait colors resemble a rainbow, Lindsey and her dad swear the fish are attracted to the smell.
Situated next to the Weiks, Mikaela Buckley was trying her hand at the sport for the first time with her father, Mike. Mikaela sat in the lawn chair she gave her dad as a birthday present last week. The chair, which comes with two cup holders, will be used for fishing.
“We’ve been talking about doing this for a long time,” he said. “It’s a nice way to spend the morning.”
Bradley Peden, 6, showed up early to get his piece of the action. One of his secrets is simple — sunshine.
“When the sun comes out, they start biting because they’re hungry,” the boy said, chomping on a hot dog.
Casting was challenging, according to Bradley, but the wind was nothing he couldn’t overcome.
“But I know how to cast. I caught four and let two go,” he said, with the authority of a veteran.
Nearby, veterans to the world of fishing showed up to get in another outing at the basin.
The Goodyears, dad Don, Dustin, 9, and Donnie, 12, fish year-round. They’ve gone ice- and deep-sea fishing, with Donnie reeling in an 18-pound salmon one trip. But the boys, native to South Lake Tahoe, love to fish locally, Goodyear said.
“That’s what it’s all about,” said fishing derby organizer Paul Hale, who made the rounds Sunday.
The South Lake Tahoe Moose Lodge governor said the lake was stocked Thursday with 1,100 trout. Some catfish — known as fighters –live in the lake, too. It’s the second consecutive year the Moose Lodge has staged the fishing derby, an event that went on sabbatical years ago.
Hale decided to bring the event back to introduce the sport to youngsters. He gauges the attendance by how many hot dogs are sold. Last year, 600 of the dogs were consumed.
A steady line of young customers hit the hot-dog stand and cotton-candy maker, with some adults at the beer table. Anyone wanting to know how much of a Tahoe event this is need only look at a laundry list of sponsors.
“We thought we’d do it after Labor Day because the kids have a busy summer,” Hale said.
He had two concerns this year — the turnout and the weather. Both were good.
Hale has seen it all at this fishing derby. One hundred, 10-pound fish were placed in the lake one year. Hale saw one young girl nab one, only to have her pole sacrificed to the lake.
Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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