TRURO – Dozens of people stood along the shores of Kiwanis Pond on Saturday morning, some casting their lines since the early hours of daylight.
With the sun shining bright through a clear blue sky, the sweatshirts and jackets lying in the grass are the only trace of the cloud and chill that started the 28th annual Fisherama that morning.
“Now that the sun has come out, it seems to be picking up,” said Bill Yarn, president of the Cobequid Salmon Association, who hosted the event. “We really can’t ask for a better day.”
The crowd, more than 200 children of all ages under 15, cast lines continuously into the water. The pond had been filled with 1,200 speckled trout the night before by the association. Twelve of the fish were larger in size and tagged to indicate they were prizewinners.
A young girl, Joey Robar, lets out an excited yelp as she begins reeling in her line from her spot underneath a shaded tree.
“I got one!” she yells to her father as he hurries over with a net.
The line bobs and weaves in the water as the fish begins to give a short fight. The surrounding crowd looks on as Joey reels in a tagged fish.
On the west side of the pond, a pair of young brothers lay out their day’s catch in the grass before heading home. Aidan and Evan Hennigar cleaned out their side of the pond in the early morning, nabbing nearly a dozen fish between them.
“I really like catching the fish,” Aidan said, when asked his favourite part of the day. “I don’t mind waiting around for them. You get used to it.”
By mid-morning, the fish were slow to bite, leaving many kids casting unanswered lines into the pond.
“It’s nearly lunch time but the fish aren’t hungry,” said Scott Coolen, whose son Tyson stood near the water.
“He’s more of a social fisher anyways,” he said of his son. “It’s not about the catch.”
For the Cobequid Salmon Association, the day was all about exposure for the sport.
“There’s so many things kids can get into that fishing and hunting are on the bottom of the list,” Yarn said. “If they get introduced to it at an early age, maybe they’ll become fisherman, or at least get out into nature and away from those computers and TVs.”
The event, started 28 years ago by Peter Hamilton and Jack Rudolph, is now done to honour the pair – Peter, now 94, and Jack who has since passed away.
“It’s also to give back to the community,” Yarn said. “We’ve been here for 31 years now, and we always get a lot of support from the community.”
The trout weren’t the only fish biting at Kiwanis Park Saturday morning, however.
Excited screams came from Noah MacIsaac as he reeled in his line, with something attached to the other end of it. His grandfather stood by as Noah pulled the squirming fish from the water to find it wasn’t a typical fish at all. It was an eel.
“What do I do with eels?” he screamed, backing away from the slimy creature slithering in the grass. “Pop! Put it in the bag!”