LAKEWOOD — The waters were stocked but the fish were hardly biting at Twin Lakes County Park for the Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club’s kids’ fishing event on Saturday, May 18.
“I filled these waters with 4,000 fish yesterday,” Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club event organizer Jim Brauch said on May 18. “A bunch of them were between 3-6 pounds. It’s frustrating when you know they’re out there but they’re not biting.”
Brauch also noted that the day’s estimated attendance of between 200-250 young fishers was down from the usual range of 400-500, although the banks were still lined with families casting their reels, including Arlington’s Joey Baker, who brought his 3-year-old daughter Addison to try her hand at catching some big ones.
“We’ve come here a couple of times before, but this is our first fishing derby here,” Joey Baker said. “A group of kids gave her some power bait, and everybody kind of keeps an eye out for everybody else. They do a really great job of keeping the kids busy and showing them the kind of stuff that my dad taught me.”
Angie Moore brought a group of young fishers with developmental disabilities, through the county Parks and Recreation’s Specialized Programs, from as near as Arlington, Lake Stevens and Snohomish, and as far as Kirkland, Gold Bar and Federal Way.
“Our goal is to get the special needs community to mix with the regular community, and also to get them out and about,” Moore said.
Marysville’s Aaron Tang, 4, and Kaleb Smith, 6, both caught strings of fish, but they couldn’t be more dissimilar otherwise. While Tang’s family was making its first-time trip to Twin Lakes, whose kids’ fishing event they’d heard about at the Jennings Park kids’ fishing event also presented by the Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club, Smith’s father, Darryl Thorn, described their family’s visits to the park tongue-in-cheek as a “religious pilgrimage.”
“If it wasn’t for groups like the Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club, this wouldn’t even be possible,” Thorn said. “As soon as we get home, we’re filleting some fish right away for tonight, and the rest we’ll freeze for later on.”
Everett’s Julisha Hampton, 10, enjoys the experience of catching fish, but leaves the actual eating of them to her cousin, Kahlia Carswell. Regardless of whether the young fishers ate fish dinners that night, Brauch echoed Baker and Thorn’s sentiments about the importance of getting kids outdoors.
“It’s something for them to do besides watching TV and spending time on the computer,” said Brauch, before laughing, “I’ve been so busy setting up these fishing derbies that next weekend will be my first chance to fishing myself this season.”