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Kiwanis Kids 39th annual Fishing Derby was a REEL good time.

Sep 02, 2019 11:41AM ● By Paul Spear

Kiwanis Kids 39th annual Fishing Derby was a REEL good time.

 The 39th annual Kiwanis Kids Fishing Derby held August 24th at the I.B. Pier was deemed a REEL good time by the kids who turned out in record numbers for this year’s event.  With their families in tow, well over a hundred kids clad in commemorative T-shirts hooked up with the Imperial Beach/South Bay Kiwanis and Kiwanis Key Club members along with scores of High School and adult volunteers for a picture perfect day of fishing and fun on the I.B. pier.

The derby ran from 9:00 am through 11:00 am. Registration began at 8:00 am and participants were provided a ticket, a Fishing Derby T-shirt, and the use of fishing gear if requested. Bait was also provided and willing volunteers were on hand during the day to untangle fishing lines, answer questions, and offer assistance to anyone in need.  By 9:00 am the contestants were on the pier with lines in the water and it was Game On. 

Held each August for the past 39 years, the Kiwanis Kids Fishing Derby is a chance to introduce the sport of fishing to young people who may never have experienced the thrill. There is no cost.  When asked about the event, Leon Benham, organizer of the event and the club’s President Elect had this to say, “Kiwanis is a global organization which serves children. The IB Kiwanis fishing derby serves the local children with a summertime experience and has them interact socially with others”.

The kid’s enthusiasm and their persistence to bag a trophy made for a memorable day. Some of the more interesting fish caught during the derby were a Sculpin and a nice size Sand Bass. The event wound down with a delicious hot lunch provided by the Tin Fish restaurant on the pier and concluded with the awards ceremony and the handing out of participant medals and a raffle.  Trophies were awarded for 4 classes of fish: Largest Fish, Smallest Fish, Most Fish, and Ugliest Fish.

The huge success of this event was made possible by the generous donations and support of the following organizations:

·         The Port of San Diego for the use of the pier and facilities

·          Dana Landing /Manager Johnny White, for their generous donation of 20 fishing poles and reels as well as squid for bait

·          Tin Fish Restaurant /Owner Jay Kim for the delicious bagged lunch they served up

·         Cow-A-Bunga Ice Cream / Owners Kerri & Patrick provided  yummy ice cream for our raffle

·         I.B. Posse for their stunning sand castle creation

·         Diggimperialbeach.com/ Publisher Paul Spear for his promotional efforts for this and other Kiwanis events

The 40th anniversary of the Kiwanis Kids Fishing Derby will be a milestone event and is already in the planning stages. Thanks to all our residents and especially, to our youth, for making this the greatest derby yet! 


article and photos c/o 

Ron Moody

Board of Directors

Imperial Beach / South Bay Kiwanis

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