Correspondent

DRACUT -- The Centralville Sportsman's Club at 308 Wheeler Road is holding its annual Spring Fishing Derby on Saturday, April 13, and Sunday, April 14, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine.

"It's two full days of fun for kids," said Dan Croce, an organizer of the event. "We don't call it the kids fishing derby, but it really is for the kids."

Contests for largest and smallest fish caught by both boys and girls are held for children ages 2 to 15. Door prizes, hourly raffles and prizes for tagged fish are also a part of the day's fun. Croce said every child who attends leaves with a prize.

"I'm a parent, I have a 3-year-old son. It's nice as a parent seeing the look on kids' faces," Croce said.

Baseball gloves, fishing poles, giftcards to local businesses, cash, and tickets to next year's derby are among some of the prizes. In the past, Six Flags and the Boston Duck Tours have also donated tickets for prizes. This year, the Red Sox donated a baseball signed by Clay Buchholz to be raffled off.

Breakfast and lunch are also available. A full breakfast is served from 6 to 11 a.m., which includes eggs, homefries, bacon, and toast. Hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers and Snyder's World Famous Fried Dough are sold for lunch until 3 p.m.

"We try to keep the prices low; we know the economy is bad," Croce said. "For $5.50, you can walk out with a full breakfast, juice and coffee."

For information, go to www.centralvillesportsmansclub.org.

The club's president, Kevin Snyder, is in charge of the cooking along with Kevin Beaudin. Snyder, a professional caterer, is in charge of ordering food for the event. Croce said Snyder tries to buys most of the food and supplies from businesses in Dracut.

"We really try to give back to the community," said Croce.

The Fishing Derby was started in the 1950s by Sherman O'Brien, one of the club's founding fathers. Croce has been involved in the derby since 2006 and puts a lot of effort into cleaning the grounds "making the property look awesome" for the event.

"Every year the event gets bigger and bigger," said Croce, who estimates last year's attendance at 500 to 700.

The club's vice president, Josh Taylor, the derby costs from $3,500 to $4,500 to host, with $2,500 spent on 600 trout from Hy-On-A Hill Hatchery and the rest on prizes and food.

The derby generates litte to no profit. "The idea is not to make money," he said.

The cost is $20 dollars for adults for both Saturday and Sunday and $10 dollars for children. Sunday attendence is half the price. The event is open to the public, no fishing licenses are required and bait is available for a minimal price.

"Come down and check it out," Croce said. "It's the biggest event of the year."