The Port of San Diego’s April 15 Day At The Docks – the West Coast’s largest public celebration of sportfishing – is just over the horizon, with upwards of 25,000 expected at the all-day event.Beginning at 9 a.m., the admission-free 33rd annual Day At The Docks will celebrate the beginning of the sportfishing season by showcasing the most modern inshore, offshore and long range sportfishing fleet at America’s Cup Harbor on San Diego Bay. The event is “family friendly” and will feature numerous exhibits geared toward kids. Youngsters will be introduced to the fun and rewards of fishing at each of the three landings with pens of willing Pacific mackerel eager for bits of squid used as bait.

Many of the San Diego fleet of sportfishing boats – the largest of its kind in the world – will be open for visitors to tour their salons and sleeping quarters. Other boats will offer introductory rides on the bay.

Boat tours, rides and fishing are sure to develop an appetite, so an international potpourri of food will be available – everything from smoked turkey legs to giant sausages, bratwurst, traditional hot dogs, barbequed corn, chicken or beef rice bowls in a food court; with snow cones and cotton candy at the Friends of Rollo exhibit along with a raffle wheel to spin for prizes.

The main stage will have virtual non-stop music, fishing seminars plus raffles with fishing equipment valued at thousands of dollars donated by sponsors and exhibitors. One of the most popular displays is traditionally the Captains’ Dunk Tank. “With an eye toward the girls and boys who make up the next generation of anglers, activities will be geared toward youngsters, rivaling a trip to the zoo or Sea World” said Catherine Miller, event director.

From a fisherman’s educational standpoint, local experts including captains and crewmembers, will present “how-to-do-it” seminars covering sportfishing for first-timers or for those who might need a brief brush-up course. About 200 exhibits will display boats, fishing tackle, art, at-sea clothing, electronics, insurance, antiques and virtually everything else fish and fishing-related.

“Day At The Docks promises a good time, large crowds and a fine spring day in San Diego. A lot of tackle will go home with new owners; anglers will be fired up as a fresh new season begins and it’s time to go fishing,” said Miller.

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