Lindsey Weik, age 9, stared at the 3 1/2 pound fish in the bag as if she expected it to jump out.
"I was reeling it in slow. Then all of a sudden I felt something," the South Lake Tahoe girl said Sunday morning at Barron Lake in Meyers during the Kid's Fishing Derby. Her eyes popped out when she saw the fish on her line.
Her father, Kirk Weik, sported his lucky hat and fishing vest for the father-daughter outing.
"It was a fighter, too, it swam back and forth here," he said, pointing to an area close to the shore.
"The trick is to cover the hook," he said, as Lindsey nodded.
When asked what she used for bait, she picked up some colorful goop called Powerbait. The fish are attracted to the smell.
Mikaela Buckley tried her hand at the sport for the first time with her father, Mike.
"We've been talking about doing this for a long time," he said. "It's a nice way to spend the morning."
Bradley Peden, 6, showed up early. One of his secrets is sunshine.
"When the sun comes out, they start biting because they're hungry," the boy said, chomping on a hot dog.
Casting was challenging, according to Bradley, but the wind was nothing he couldn't overcome.
"But I know how to cast. I caught four and let two go," he said.
The Goodyears -- dad Don, Dustin, 9, and Donnie, 12 -- fish year-round. They've gone ice- and deep sea fishing, with Donnie once reeling in an 18-pound salmon. But the boys, native to South Lake Tahoe, love to fish locally, Goodyear said.
"That's what it's all about," said fishing derby organizer Paul Hale Sunday.
The South Lake Tahoe Moose Lodge governor said the lake was stocked Thursday with 1,100 trout. Some feisty catfish live in the lake, too. It's the second year the lodge has staged the fishing derby after a hiatus.
Hale decided to revive the event to introduce the sport to youngsters. He gauges the attendance by how many hot dogs are sold. Last year, 600 'dogs were consumed.
"We thought we'd do it after Labor Day because the kids have a busy summer," Hale said.
He has seen it all at this fishing derby. One hundred 10-pound fish were placed in the lake one year. Hale saw a young girl nab one, only to have her pole sacrificed to the lake.