This will be the 21st year the Hidden Valley Kiwanis Foundation of Escondido sponsors the annual trout derby at Dixon Lake in Escondido.
It is their major fundraiser and each year it seems to draw more and more financial support from area businesses and professional people.
And, word has gotten out that the fishin’ is mighty good and there’s lots to do and all kinds of goodies that you just might wind up winning.
The highlight of the derby, however, is the little tykes who fish at the Kiddie Fishing Pond. The Kiwanis Club has set up a floating net on one of the docks that contains hundreds of hungry trout.
The Kiddie Pond is open from 9 to 11 a.m. and again from 1 to 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. The Kiddie Pond is reserved for kids 7 and under.
Kiwanians and members of the Escondido Senior Angler’s Club help the little kids catch what is probably the first fish of their life.
Poles and bait are provided, guidance and assistance as well. The reward comes for the child when she or he catches that trout. The reward for mom and dad, and the grandparents, comes when they see the sparkle in the kids’ eyes . . . the laughter and thrill they bring to the party.
Kiwanians will have cameras at the entrance to the dock and will record for posterity that great big trout and that great big grin and wide-eyed look of astonishment that they caught their first trout!
The photos will be posted on the Hidden Valley Kiwanis website and family and friends can download the images for the family scrapbook. Go to: www.hiddenvalleykiwanis.org
Any member of the Kiwanis club will tell you this is their favorite part of the derby . . . seeing the little ones enjoying life so much . . . and, perhaps, beginning to follow a lifelong sport to share with family and friends.
Gates open at 6 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22, and runs till 6 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday, respectively.
At 4 p.m. Sunday the winning anglers will be announced for largest trout on Saturday in both adult and junior age levels; prizes will go to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. There are also 15 tagged fish with guaranteed prizes of $25 for each one caught. In addition, many Opportunity Prizes are awarded to lucky participants.
No California Fishing License is required; fishing permits are. Adult permits are $14 for adults, $10 for both junior and senior permits. A limited number of boats are available for rent from park rangers at the concession stand. Boats with motor are $35, Row boats are $17.
Lake Dixon is located at 1700 La Honda Drive, Escondido.