MV Rod and Gun Club hosts 39th annual kids trout derby Saturday

Kyle Peters was one of the more successful fishermen in a previous year's derby. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

The Island’s annual rendezvous of kids and trout is upon us. On Saturday, May 4, the Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club will host the annual Kids Trout Derby at Duarte’s Pond in West Tisbury.

Fishing kicks off at first light, about 5:30 am, rain or shine. Depending on the weather and the attention span of the many young fishermen, it will finish up about 9 am with an awards ceremony.

This marks the 39th year of the tournament. Veteran club members and volunteers measure the success of the community event by the many “kids,” now moms and dads, who turn up with their own kids in tow.

The free fishing contest, paid for by the club with the assistance of generous contributors, has introduced generations of Islanders to the fun of a tug on the end of a fishing line. No experience is necessary on the part of kids or parents.

Cooper “Coop” Gilkes of Edgartown, the longtime tournament chairman, and a host of volunteers are happy to help out those new to the intricacies of knots and worms.

Club president Bob Delisle said the pond will be stocked with more than 1,500 trout, paid for by the club and generous supporters. Big fishermen are asked to avoid the pond in the days prior to the derby to give the kids an advantage.

The club will also provide its customary morning buffet of hot dogs, donuts, hot chocolate, and coffee. Volunteers are always welcome, Mr. Delisle said, as is any other support. For more information, or to help out, call Cooper Gilkes at 508-627-3909.