Fishing Fun For Kids Of All Ages Saturday



Fishermen (and, of course, women and certainly children) must be optimistic.

"If I put bait on the end of my line and cast it out into the water, it will attract a fish to fry for my supper.


The annual Kids' Fishing Festival will be held Saturday, April 21 at Green Valley Park.

"If I can repeat the process successfully enough times, I will be able to have friends over for a super fish fry."

There is something magic about a soon-to-be-summer day, when a fisherman feels the jerk and tug at the end of his line and knows he has been wilier than the fish.

There is going to be a Kids' Fishing Festival at Green Valley Park Lakes on Saturday, April 21.

"You can be 102 years old and be a kid that Saturday," said Joan Young. She is a member of the Optimist Club that has planned the event in conjunction with Payson Parks and Recreation.

Representatives from Arizona Fish and Game and the Rim Country's own avid fishermen and tellers of fish tales, Dennis Pirch and Tracy Purtee, will be on hand at the Kids' Fishing Festival April 21.

Registration begins at 6 a.m. so the young and the young-at-heart can toss a line into the lake. No license required.

Participants are encouraged to bring a fishing pole if they own one. Those who need a pole can borrow one from Game and Fish.

The first 290 participants will receive a hat or a visor.

Breakfast, lunch and snacks can be purchased for a few dollars from the Optimist Club.

Pirch will host a skills competition for children ages 9 and younger and children age 10 to 14.

Children can have their pictures taken with their catch.

"Even if you don't fish, it should be fun to walk around the park that day and watch the children or get a bite to eat," said Optimist Corey Kroll, who is co-chairing the event. "Anyone who has fishing questions -- there will be people there to answer them."

Registration for the Fishing Festival is free.

So are the classes that begin at 9 a.m. and start every 15 minutes until 10:45.

Here is the bait: Children in each class get a raffle ticket for their participation.

A lesson about basic fishing equipment kicks off the day and is all about bobbers and bait and tying on a hook and sinker.

Next is basic fishing technique. Students will learn how to fish off the bottom, "suspending," how the contour of the lake gives fishes a place to hide and the type of fish that live in Green Valley lakes.

A willow branch and a string might not hold a very big or very crafty fish. Children can learn what poles and reels are best (open-faced, closed-face and bait caster) at the 9:30 a.m. class.

Find out what fish like to dine on wiggly worms and crunchy grasshoppers in the next class.

Rooster tails and crank bait are both artificial baits. The best time to use artificial bait is the subject of the 10 a.m. workshop.

Artificial baits are different than plastic baits, such as Lizards and Sinkos. Plastic baits use different types of rigs, too -- Carolina, Texas and Drop Shot.

Safety -- the subject under discussion at 10:30 a.m. -- is important whether you are fishing beside a body of water or from a boat in the water.

Lastly there will be a question and answer session.

Eight classes equals eight free raffle tickets.

Children's tickets cost 50 cents each.

Some of the prizes are: a stock car race track from Radio Shack, matinee movie passes from Sawmill Theatres, sidewalk chalk, books and Beanie Babies.

Adult raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5.

Tanning sessions from Club USA, a gift certificate for two from the Beeline Café, Home Depot and Big O Tires gift certificates and a manicure from Emmy at Backstreet Salon are among the prizes.

Regular raffle tickets will be drawn and posted on the Bragging Board throughout the day until 2 p.m. The winners' names will be posted on a board and any unclaimed prizes will be redrawn for between 2 and 3 p.m.

Grand prize tickets may be purchased separately. They will be awarded between 2 and 3 p.m. and the winners do not need to be present to win.

  • Fishing trip for 2 at Roosevelt Lake
  • Electric trolling motor
  • Set of hand-carved mallard ducks

There will also be a silent auction and KCMA 98.5 radio will host a live remote from the lake.

The Fishing Festival is not a fund-raiser; it is just a fun family event, Kroll said.

"I encourage people to keep the trout they might catch," Kroll said, as the lake will have had its last trout stocking of the season by Arizona Game and Fish.

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