By Grace Moore
Justin Hawkins, one of the hosts of the very successful Family Fishing Day last year on Keyhole Reservoir, is again hosting the family friendly event in which like-minded fishermen can introduce their kids to ice fishing at Coulter Bay. The event will be held at the Pine Haven boat ramp on Saturday, February 3.
The party starts at 7 a.m. as tents are set up, holes are placed and rigs are set. A no-charge barbecue lunch is served at noon with hot dogs, pulled pork sandwiches and many tasty sides and the group will again have a fishing competition for the “Big Fish Plaque” for youngsters and adults, too.
Raffle winners will be drawn at 2 p.m. Among the many items to be raffled is a tailgate party for 20 donated by Porky’s, an ice hut and fishing rod donated by All In Well Service, Cloud Peak donated $1000 worth of merchandise and a local pilot contributed an airplane ride for thre
The tickets are $1 a piece and people may buy as many as they want. The event will also entertain a silent auction.
This year, according to Hawkins, a share of the proceeds of the raffle goes to Jason’s Friends, a nonprofit organization based in Casper that helps Wyoming families whose children suffer from childhood cancers or brain or spinal cord tumors with non-medical financial support, advocacy and encouragement.
“My goal,” Hawkins says as he looks at the future of the Family Fishing Day, “is to keep doing this and focus on helping other local Wyoming fishermen and their families. If something were to come up and they needed help, I’d like to have funds so we can donate to help them.”
The event is continuing to grow as more families join the fun; last year they entertained approximately 150 guests and this year, according to Hawkins, they anticipate around 200. Park rangers support the effort with their presence, walking through and visiting periodically during the day, discouraging any abuse or drunkenness.