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Kiwanis free fishing derby returns for the 30th year

By Staff | Apr 5, 2018

Boys and girls, get ready for the 30th annual Free Fishing Derby at the Cape Coral Yacht Club, complete with plenty of prizes this Saturday.

Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Cape Coral, the free derby will be held from 8:30 to 11 a.m. at the Yacht Club Fishing Pier.

No advance registration is required and the first 300 youngsters, 5 to 15 years old, will receive a free rod, reel and bait.

This is the third year Pam Woodruff and her husband Dave have organized the popular event.

“We love to promote things in Cape Coral that has anything to do with families,” Pam Woodruff said. “We just think families are really important. For families to be spending the morning on the pier fishing . . . just does our heart good. Mostly we love watching the whole thing happen and parents being out their with their children having a good time.”

“Kids need hobbies and interest,” she added. “There are so many opportunities to fish here.”

The derby started all those years ago because the Kiwanis Club wants to get kids excited about fishing.

“Some have never fished before and some come with their own rod and reels,” Woodruff said.

Volunteers will be walking around willing to help and teach the young anglers how to fish, bait, hook and take their fish off a hook.

The event will also include a boys and girls trophy for the most fish, the largest fish, the smallest fish and the most unusual catch.

Woodruff said they started the unusual catch trophy because one year, a girl “caught” a lawn chair.

The young anglers will also go home with a picture of them and their catch.

“Two guys have been doing it for years. They do that out of their own pocket. That’s pretty amazing,” Pam said.

The special event will feature a rather large raffle prize – a $400 fishing trip with Captain Russ Walker.

Woodruff said the charter is a four-hour fishing trip for three children and an adult. Raffle tickets are $1 each and the winner, who must be present, will be chosen at 11 a.m.

This is the second year Captain Walker has donated the trip.

“He is doing it because he loves to take kids fishing and he wants to give back to the community and give back to Kiwanis,” she said.

Each child will receive a ticket when they enter the event to win one of many prizes, which have been donated by businesses.

Prizes include donations from Sun Splash Family Waterpark, Mike Greenwells, Zoomers and Sky Zone.

The Kiwanis Club also donate 10 bicycles for the prizes.

“It’s a great morning and great activity,” Woodruff said. “We have parents that came as kids and now they are bringing their children.”

In addition to the businesses donating to the cause, many of the local Kiwanis Clubs are also offering a helping hand.

The Builders Club at Challenger and Trafalgar Middle School helped in putting together the rods for the event.

The Key Clubs from the local high schools are volunteering the day of on the pier.

Pam said the Action Club, a Kiwanis Club for the special needs population, will also be offering a helping hand.

The Yacht Club Pier is at 5819 Driftwood Parkway.

For more information, call Woodruff at (239) 945-7886.