There will be plenty of fish to catch and prizes to win when the second annual kids' fishing day kicks off this month at Baily's Pond, but C.K. Baily's real objective is to get kids hooked on fishing.
"My whole goal is to make sure that if any kid is fishing for the first time, it won't be their last time," Baily said. "We hope they'll have the tools to fish forever."
The Tom Brooks Memorial Kids' Fishing Day will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 15.
Baily, who was instrumental in pushing for a fishing pond for Carson City, had the pond named after him after it was completed last fall.
The Carson City Host Lions Club is spearheading the fishing day with support from the Nevada Department of Wildlife and Carson City Parks and Recreation Department.
As the Carson City Host Lions Club event chairman, he expects a huge crowd this year.
"We had about 100 or so kids last year, but the weather was bad; the wind was blowing pretty hard. But if this weather holds out, we'll have a lot of kids this year," he said.
In preparation for the big day, the Nevada Department of Wildlife has been stocking the pond with trout about every two weeks and will plant about 500 for the big day, Baily said, but that's not all.
"I bought 300 lunker fish from an aquaculturist in Smith Valley. There will be so many fish, you're going to be able to walk across the water on the backs of fish," he said.
Baily described the lunkers as a Mount Whitney strain of rainbow trout known for putting up a good fight.
"They were snapping rods last year," he said.
Carson City park planner Vern Krahn backed up Baily's claims.
"It was a smashing success last year, even though it was an overcast day. You could hear kids squealing with excitement all around the pond. They were hooking into 14-15-inch trout," he said.
Krahn said kids and families were everywhere. He recalled one single mother who brought her three kids but didn't know anything about fishing. Lion's Club members volunteered to help, and the kids not only caught fish, but won raffle prizes.
The event was named after Tom Brooks, an avid fisherman who cared about giving to the community and to children who would benefit by experiencing quality outdoor activities, Krahn said.
The event is free to children under 12 years old. Those 12 years and older need a Nevada fishing license, and there is a limit at the event of two fish. There will be plenty of volunteers, fishing instructors, fish cleaning stations and hand-washing stations will be available, as well as loaner fishing rods, bait, hooks, lines and sinkers.
Baily said dozens of donors have contributed money and prizes toward the success of the event, including donations of $1,000 and $2,000, rod and reel combo, tackle boxes, hats, clothing and gift cards.
"We'll have a raffle every 15 minutes, and I've got hundreds of rods and other prizes to give away," he said. "People have just opened up their hearts and their wallets."
There won't be any competitions because it's all for fun, Baily said.
"The only competition is going to be between you and the fish," he said.