Avila Pier — 2012 Kids Fishing Derby

Unlike 2011, and a day that saw rain and a damp wind limit the early turnout, Saturday July 7, 2012 at the Avila Pier saw a mild climate, no wind, and almost perfect weather for fishing. The result was a spirited group of kids that were excited to join the 2012 IGFA/UPSAC Kids Fishing Derby. Spirited, but one of the nicest and most polite groups of kids we’ve had at a derby.

Cheryl Spence handled much of the registration

“Big Rich” and Brian Linebarger helping the youngsters get started

The first fish to be caught was a jacksmelt

Carrie Wilson from the California Department of Fish and Game and her husband Jeff set up and staffed an informational display during the derby and helped the young anglers learn about the California Fishing Passport Program. As they caught fish, Carrie would stamp the species in the booklets.

This young lady caught a thornback ray

Don’t be afraid, they can’t hurt you. Just watch out for the spines on the back.

The thornback ray earned an entry into the “Passport” booklet

UPSAC’s Brian Linebarger helps with a small fish

Fish included a small speckled sanddab

A white croaker

UPSAC volunteers included Boyd Grant the manager of UPSAC’s Goleta Pier Angler Center

You don’t need a boat to go fishing!

Free loaner rods and reels, free bait, free hot dog lunches, raffle prizes for every kid, and an age group winner in each category helped the excitement but so did the chance to catch a fish and, in many cases, that meant their first fish. Although the fishing was slow almost every kid caught “something” and all had a great time. Fish that were caught included cabezon, jacksmelt, kingfish (white croaker), small rockfish, sanddabs, staghorn sculpin and a lone squid.

A happy youngster with a white croaker

Checking out the CA DF&G

There’s lots of stuff

UPSAC’s Robert Gardner and Boyd Grant

Moms also like to go fishing!

What is this?

A sanddab

Carrie Wilson marks the sanddab in the book

There’s nothing like a nice day on the pier with the kids!

Buddy, I think it’s stuck!

Another sanddab

Next up, following the fishing and a hot dog lunch, was a raffle. Raffle prizes were donated by NOAA, the California Department of Fish and Game, Fish Taco Chronicle Magazine, The Tidepool (Cayucos), Oceanside Pier Bait & Tackle, Avila Pier Bait and Tackle, and the San Diego Sportfishing Council. The grand prize, two half-day fishing trips, was donated by Patriot Sportfishing of Port San Luis. Special thanks go to Mara Ziehn and the Port San Luis Harbor District for use of the Avila Pier.

Louis and Denise Dornbush, owners of the Avila Pier Bait & Tackle Shop

Carrie Wilson from the Fish and Game was asked to hand out the various raffle prizes

The big prize was two fishing trips from the Patriot Sportfishing fleet of boats

The final event was the awarding of the age group winners. Age group winners: 6-year-old Kobe Keovilai; 7-year-old Gavin Kidd; 8-year-old (tie) Caleb Reed & Laura Alvarez; 9-year-old Rebecca Cagle; 10-year-old Matthew Keovilai; 11-year-old Darian Cagle; 12-year-old Justin Selken; 13-year-old Brandon Suarez; 14-year-old (tie) Michael Cagle & Amanda Avilia;15-year-old Dalton Walker. All winners received trophies, beautiful certificates from the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), and autographed copies of Pier Fishing in California by Ken Jones.

Cheryl Spence tabulating results.

UPSAC President Ken Jones and the Derby Coordinator (and UPSAC Board Member) Mike Spence ready the crowd for the age group winner prizes.

The 6-Year-Old Winner was Kobe Keovilai

The 7-Year-Old Winner was Gavin Kidd

The 8-Year-Old age bracket had a tie. One Winner was Caleb Reed

The other 8-Year-Old Winner was Laura Alvarez

The 9-Year-Old Winner was Rebecca Cagle

The 11-Year-Old winner was Darian Cagle

The 12-Year-Old Winner Justin Selken

The14-Year-Old Winner was Amanda Avilia

The 15-Year-Old Winner was Dalton Walker

A tired group: Cheryl Spence in the back, Brian Linebarger and Robert Gardner in the front, and Boyd Grant standing.

The event Coordinator was Michael Spence from UPSAC, ably assisted by his lovely wife Cheryl. They were joined by Ken Jones, President of UPSAC, Robert Gardner, Vice President of UPSAC, Brian Linebarger, Secretary of UPSAC, Cheryl Spence, Boyd Grant, Richard McIntosh, John Burke, Kevin Branx, and Louis and Denise Dornbush, owners of the Avila Bait and Tackle store.

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