Six-year-old Emily Pacula gets a few pointers from her dad, Emil Pacula of Methuen. VALLEY DISPATCH/DENNIS SHAUGHNESSEY
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DRACUT — They used spinners, jigs and rigs. Spoons, minnows and worms.

The fished off the bottom. They fished off the top. At the end of the Centralville Sportsman’s Club annual Fishing Derby last weekend, there were far fewer trout the pond, which had been stocked several days before.

Close to half of the several hundred people who attended the two-day event were children. They learned the finer points of angling from their moms or dads, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

“My grandfather brought me,” said 10-year-old Ian Candela of Londonderry, N.H., the grandson of past club president Ken Hughes.

“We’ve held the fishing derby for over 40 years now,” Hughes said. “There’s a lot of history here. A lot of tradition and we try to pass it on to the kids. It’s really all about the kids.”

Current President Rich Brow echoed the sentiment.

“Look around,” Brow said. “Moms and dads with two or three kids. What’s better than that to bring a family close together?”

The two small ponds behind the club, which is located on Wheeler Road, were stocked with about 500 trout, including rainbow trout as large as four pounds. Because the pond is private, no fishing licenses were required. There were contests and door prizes for kids under 15, including largest fish and smallest fish. For adults, tagged fish would fetch a prize. There were raffles, 50/50 raffles, catch-and-release bass contests and plenty of camaraderie.

Inside the club, Ron Charette worked the grill, cooking up breakfasts and lunches, consisting of hamburgers and hot dogs.

“It’s a good time for everybody,” said Brow. “But I think especially for the kids. It’s always good to see so many kids.”