Fishing lines began arching over Little Stony Creek in western Colusa County early on Saturday, and by the end of the day, 152 kids had their hooks in the water.
The turnout for the 30th Kids’ Free Fishing Day broke last year’s record by two, said Colusa County Fish and Game Commissioner Jon Wrysinski.
The family-friendly event was an ideal opportunity for kids to discover fishing and enjoy an amazing spring day on Goat Mountain.
“The purpose is to expose kids to fishing, and hopefully give them a positive experience so they will become fisher people,” Wrysinki said.
David Armocido and the Colusa County Flycasters established the Kids Fishing Day in 1988 with about 20 kids in attendance, and hosted it for 25 years.
When Armocido moved to Montana, he asked the Colusa County Fish and Game Commission to take it over.
“He didn’t want the event to stop when he moved,” Wrysinski said.
Each kid was allowed to catch five rainbow trout, most of which varied in size from 10 to 18 inches long.
Tyler Polit, 9, of Maxwell, stood barefoot in the mud and let the cold water from the creek rush over his feet as he threw his line out for the first time at a Kids’ Fishing Day event.
Like others kids fishing for the first time, Polit quickly gave up on lures and power bait and switched to the small cooked shrimp that had the farm-raised trout in frenzy.
Cousins Jake Wallace, 7, and Logan Wallace, 6, come to the stream every year from Woodland, and had no trouble catching their limit.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Jake said.
Like many kids, Landen Miller, 7, of Colusa, fished with his dad at his side. His sister Peyton, 9, who is far more experienced with a pole, fished further down stream.
“It’s just a blast,” Shane Miller said. “It gives them a chance to fish. My daughter learned how to fish here. We’ve been coming up here for four years. It a great place to practice, but mostly catch fish. They got hooked on fishing from this deal. It’s always a very fun time, and then we go have lunch in Lodoga.”
The Colusa County Fish and Game planted 1,040 pounds of live rainbow trout for the Kids Fishing Day.
An estimated 700 to 800 pounds of fish were caught and taken home.
“Hopefully, they will all get eaten,” Wrysinski said.
Like salmon, trout is a nutrient-dense food that offers a variety of health benefits from Omega-3 fatty acids and protein, especially for the brain and heart. Freshwater trout is also low in mercury, making it safe to eat regularly. ■