One of the first things I remember learning from my dad, was how to fish. We were on a family vacation, and I was probably no more than five or six at the time. I remember waking up early and heading down to the lake by the cabin where we were staying. The morning was a bit cold that day, but I didn't care. I was going to catch a fish! I watched carefully as my dad showed me how to string the line through the metal rings of the fishing rod, and then tie on a hook at the end. We put a few clamp-on lead weights, and a brand-new white and red bobber, then he told me to bait the hook.
It was a little more difficult than I imagined it would be, but I was able to eventually push the hook through the worm a few times. My dad showed me how to cast the line, and then he handed me the rod and I sat down on the grass at the edge of the lake. It wasn't long before I grew bored of watching the bobber floating gently on the flat, mirror-like surface of the water, and I asked my dad how long it would be until we caught a fish. That's when I learned 'the most important part' about fishing; you have to be absolutely silent.
A few weekends ago, I got to relive that memory again, as I headed down to the Antioch/Oakley Regional Shoreline to watch the annual Oakley Kids Fishing Derby. There were at least two-hundred people lined up and down the five-hundred and fifty-foot long pier, and most of those, were kids. Everywhere I looked there were smiling, excited faces as the kids watched their lines for any sign of a fish biting on their bait, or watched as mom or dad helped remove a fish from the hook.
There were also roughly two-dozen volunteers on hand to measure and record each fish caught, and to make sure that the kids were doing 'most' of the fishing part. But the one thing that was most evident to me, was that apparently no one had told the kids about ‘the most important part'. My dad might have been annoyed at the amount of noise these young anglers were making, but I certainly wasn't. It was evidence of how much fun the kids were having, and how important an event like this is. I can only imagine the memories that were being made that day.
Details of the Derby
This year marks the 16th year that the 'catch-and-release' derby has run, and the event is definitely a popular one. It's not hard to see why, either. The event is open to all Oakley children and youth, up to the age of fifteen. Parents were able to pre-register their children, either at the new Recreation Center on O'Hara, next to O'Hara Park Middle School, or at Hook, Line, and Sinker, the local sporting goods store located across the street from City Hall and Civic Center Park. Registration was also accepted on the morning of the event, from 8 AM to 9 AM. The derby itself ran from 9 AM until 11 AM, after which a complimentary lunch was served, and the awards were presented. And all of this at no cost! It really is a great way for families to spend the day!
This year, the number of young people taking part in the event was up considerably. It was estimated that about one-hundred-and-forty youth registered. Unfortunately, the larger number of anglers did not equate into larger numbers of fish being caught. That number was down somewhat from past years. And, as we know, fishing is partly about skill, and it is also partly about luck. If you're in the right place, with the right bait, your chances of catching something is much higher. One very happy angler who was both, was a four-year-old girl, fishing with a purple and green, plastic pole. She wound up catching four fish in the two hours that the derby was running!
Even with the lower numbers of fish caught, there were still plenty of awards to give away. Here are the winners in each of the three age groups:
• Smallest Fish: Aubree K
• Largest Fish: Emily B
• Most Fish: Juliana R
• Smallest Fish: Zach S
• Largest Fish: Sophia D
• Most Fish: Michael W
• Smallest Fish: Joshua S
• Largest Fish: Jacob B
• Most Fish: Timothy W
Congratulations to all of the anglers in this years event!
Cypress Storage is a Great Catch Too!
If you're fishing around for a place to store all of your extra belongings, come on over to Cypress Storage and check out all of our storage options. Did you know? Self storage is perfect for all of your outdoor gear! Whether you want the accessibility of a drive-up self-storage unit, an interior unit, or even a climate-controlled storage unit, we have it all! And with all of our security cameras and individually-alarmed units, you can have great peace-of-mind. (We are currently under construction and expect to open soon.)