July 30, 2016, saw the Marin Rod and Gun Club in San Rafael celebrate its 28th Annual “Kid’s Day on the Pier” at its iconic, quarter-mile-long wooden pier. 61 youngsters, ages 4-15, parents, friends and club members enjoyed the mild 83-degree weather, a refreshing breeze, and cooperative fish that brought excitement and joy to the crowd of around 150 people. Of course there was a lot of work involved to set up and make the event a success.
Although a long-time club event, UPSAC (United Pier and Shore Anglers of California), the IGFA (International Game Fish Association), and PFIC (Pier Fishing In California) co-sponsored and provided part of the people and the gifts for the youngsters.
Loaner rods and reels were available as well as free bait and assistance when needed.
Combined with the fishing was a free hot dog lunch and a raffle where every participant received a rod and reel from the club.
A total of 82 fish were caught including 6 California halibut, 2 striped bass, 4 leopard sharks, 2 brown smoothhound sharks (aka sand sharks), 7 bat rays (aka mud marlin), and 61 jacksmelt.
Largest fish of each species: California halibut: 14” by Liam Connell; striped bass: 16” by Theo Pontes; leopard shark: 22” by Tulan White; brown smoothhound shark: 18” by Hans Jones Jr.; bat ray: 32” by Jake Barnes; jacksmelt: 16 1/2” by Tyler Hemnings.
Next up would be the hot dog lunch followed by announcement of the age-group winners and the raffle
Each individual age group winner received a 1st Place trophy for their catch, a beautiful IGFA certificate, and an autographed copy of Pier Fishing in California by Ken Jones. UPSAC President Ken Jones and Dr. John Evans handed out the goodies.
Representing the Marin Rod and Gun Club: Chairmen Gary Colmere, President Joe Morrison, and more than 20 other club members who performed a plethora of duties—serving as judges on the pier, cleaning and fixing rods and reels for both the derby and the raffle, cooking the hot dog lunch, setting up and cleaning the auditorium and kitchen, helping with the registration, helping announce the results of the raffle, and a hundred and one other things never even noticed.
Representing UPSAC: President Ken Jones, Vice-President Robert Gardner, Board Member Hans Jones and member Rita Magdamo. Representing the Pier Fishing in California (PFIC) website was Kyle Pease and Alex Poon.
All pictures by Ken Jones unless otherwise noted.
A huge thank you goes to the Marin Gun and Rod Club and the various other organizations and volunteers for putting on this great annual event.