The 2021 “Kids Day on the Pier” — Marin Rod & Gun Club Pier

August 28, 2021 saw the 32nd Annual “Kid’s Day on the Pier” at the Marin Rod & Gun Club pier on San Quentin Point in San Rafael, California. It was also the 8th derby co-sponsored by UPSAC (United Pier and Shore Anglers of California) and PFIC (Pier Fishing In California).

Registration — Pat Jones, Ann Marie Melanephy, and Rita Magdamo (MR&G club member and UPSAC/PFIC member)

The day would see 69 “official” participants in the age 6-15 event as well as about a dozen “unofficial,” ages 5 and under newbie anglers. When combined with the parents, friends, and workers, the crowd was close to 180 people, one of the largest in recent memory. Given the warm weather, low tide conditions, and somewhat “dirty” air, the large numbers were somewhat surprising to some.

Although local towns produced most of the participants, a total of 25 towns were represented in the derby—Albany, Antioch, Berkeley, Brentwood, Corte Madera, Danville, Davis, Fairfax, Fremont, Kentfield, Mill Valley, Novato, Greenbrae, Larkspur, Oakland, Pacifica, Petaluma, Pittsburg, Richmond, San Anselmo, San Jose, San Mateo, San Rafael, Santa Rosa, and Sonoma.

The first fish — a baby leopard shark

The DeJong Family

Danika Wren and a small brown smoothhound shark

The Marin Rod and Gun Club and United Pier and Shore Anglers of California (UPSAC) brought free loaner tackle and people to help out at the event while the club provided the free bait. Assistance for the (often) newbie anglers was available as needed.

 Luckily, the fish gods cooperated and the youngsters caught both a good number and good variety of fish. The various species were led by the sharay contingent (sharks and rays) —22 leopard sharks, 11 bat rays (including one reported at approximately 70 pounds), and 5 brown smoothhound sharks. Rounding out the action were 13 jacksmelt, 2 California halibut, 1 sardine and 1 crab. The action resulted in a lot of happy, smiling faces and excitement when large fish were hooked.

One notable moment occurred when a large bat ray had been hooked but was tangled on a piling. The fish was visible to the crowd of youth looking straight down through the cracks between the surface boards, which prompted the memorable shout—“Oh my God, a humongous fungus!” Not exactly correct terminology but it got the point across that it was something big.


Leopard Shark

Bat Ray (Mud Marlin) — Adam Gorczycki

Al Petrocelli and Family

It’s never too young to start fishing.

Once the fishing was completed, every youngster received a free hot dog lunch courtesy of the club, and new rods and reels from the club and UPSAC.

Rita Magdamo

In addition, each individual age group winner received a 1st Place trophy, an autographed copy of Pier Fishing in California by Ken Jones, and a rod and reel.

Age Group Winners: 6-year-old Vinny Podesta

7-year-old Sebastian Garcia 

8-year-old Parker Brock

9-year-old Shayda Citarrella

10-year-old (tie) Sean McConedough

10-year-old (tie) Dustavo Pretta

11-year-old Vincent DeJong

12-year-old Adam Gorczycki

13-year-old Ryan Etter

14-year-old Danika Wren

15-year-old Thomas DeJong.

Spearheading the efforts of the Marin Rod and Gun Club this year was Al Petrocelli assisted by many, many members of the club who performed a plethora of duties—serving as judges on the pier, cleaning and fixing rods and reels for the derby, cooking the hot dog lunches, and setting up and cleaning the auditorium and kitchen. A special thanks to Ann Marie Melanephy who helped with the registration of participants.

Representing UPSAC was president Ken Jones (who helped organize the event, took pictures, handed out individual awards, and announced raffle winners), Pat Jones (who helped at the registration table), Rita Magdamo (a club member and UPSAC/PFIC member who helped at the registration table and helped handing out awards, Robert Gardner (who helped rig the equipment and filmed the awards), and Kyle Pease (who helped with the equipment and worked as a judge).

The biggest thanks of course goes to the Marin Rod and Gun Club itself that has sponsored this event for 32 years but all of the various organizations and volunteers deserve a round of applause.







Posted in California Fish, California Piers, Pierfishing, Saltwater Fishing and tagged with . RSS 2.0 feed.

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