Kids Fish Day reels ‘em in

M.P. Regan
Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Apparently recovered from the bout with shyness that limited their participation in last year’s event, the fish of the Kids Fishing Pond on Swenson Way in Dillon bit early and often at the 2022 installment of Kids Fishing Day held last weekend in Dillon.

“That’s the fastest I think we’ve ever filled up those first 15 spots,” commented Sandy Jennings of the less than 15 minutes it took for 15 participants to catch a fish from the Kids Fishing Pond on Swenson Way, a feat that gained each a prize.

“Last year, I don’t think we had 15 caught the whole time,” recalled Jennings of the unprecedentedly slow going at the 2021 event.

“I don’t know,” said eight-year-old Addi Smith of how she snared a fine fish with her first cast of the day, the biggest fish anyone in her nine-and-under age group mnanaged to catch all day.

“I cast and it ate the worm,” added Smith of a transaction that added a few grams to her winner’s final weight of 3.47 pounds.

Kelcie Bartolomei reeled in the biggest fish from any age group on Saturday, a 3.52 pounder.

She said she learned to fish from her mom, who also taught her sister Kaitlin, catcher of the biggest fish in the 10-and-over age category.

“The girls are starting to rule. You guys are gonna have to catch up,” said Jennings at the post-contest awards ceremony, during which Aurora Bateman, Vincent Lopez, Austin Lane and Cayden Buhr also claimed prizes for their catches of the day.

The Kids Fish Day is staged each Fathers Day Weekend in Dillon by the Beaverhead Outdoors Association (BOA) as a way to foster a love of fishing in area youth.

“I would encourage you younger people with your young children and older children, if you look around and see the people who put this on for you—every year, we’ve been doing it for over 20 years, none of us have every had a child or a grandchild or great grandchild living in Beaverhead County, and yet we have put this on,” Jennings told those gathered for the post event awards ceremony.

“We are between the ages of 70 and 83 years old. We’re getting tired. I’m getting tired. We need some of you other people to step up and help with this, or the event may be gone. We don’t want that to happen,” said Jennings, the secretary-treasurer of the BOA.

“We would appreciate new blood taking over,” added Jennings

“The best thing to do is contact any of our members. You can be always reach me at 406-660-1588. We would really appreciate more interest and help.”