News Flash


Posted on: September 19, 2023

Annual Tom Sawyer Fishing Derby is Oct. 7

Mom and Daughter fishing at 2022 Tom Sawyer Fishing Derby


The annual Tom Sawyer Fishing Derby, one of the most popular events on the Pueblo West Parks and Recreation calendar, is slated for Saturday, Oct. 7 at the Cattails Crossing Pond in Pueblo West. Open to children aged 4 to 15, registration is open until Oct. 4 with a $5 registration fee. 

Young anglers, both beginners and experienced alike, are invited to showcase their fishing skills and compete for prizes in various age groups. Participants can look forward to a vibrant atmosphere, guided by experienced adults.

The event holds a deeper significance, rooted in the very origin of the Cattails Crossing Pond. 

The pond, now a community staple, was the dream project of Janean Jubic, now in her 30s, when she was just an eighth-grader in 2004. Inspired by a family outing and the joy it brought to her brother Sean, Janean embarked on a mission to transform an old irrigation pond into a recreational haven for families in Pueblo West. Today, the Jubic family continues to be a driving force behind this annual event, fostering a spirit of community and tradition. Janean’s dad, John, is still always at the derby, lending his skills to show kids the basics of fishing. 

“The Tom Sawyer Fishing Derby has blossomed into a cherished tradition here in Pueblo West, thanks to the unwavering support from our community and sponsors, especially the Jubic family and the Pueblo West Rotary Club. We are grateful for their commitment to making this event a success year after year,” Pueblo West Parks and Recreation Director Carol Cosby said.

The event also features a special contest where children can dress up as the best Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher look-alikes, characters from the famous Mark Twain novel, providing a touch of Americana to the Derby. The contest will be judged during each age group's fishing time. 

Participants will fish by age level throughout the morning. The youngest group, comprising 4 to 5-year-olds, will kick off the event, with check-in starting at 8:15 am and fishing from 9:00 am to 9:30 am. The day will continue with successive age groups, culminating with the 11 to 15-year-olds fishing from 11:45 am to 12:30 pm.

Safety is a priority, with rules emphasizing respectful and cautious behavior while fishing. Children are encouraged to learn and have fun, with adults on hand to assist with baiting hooks and teaching the correct way to cast. 

All participants will receive a gift bag filled with kids' fishing gear and more. Prizes will be awarded for fish caught and for the best-dressed Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher in each age group. Remember to bring your fishing poles, as only a limited number will be available on site.

For more information and to register, visit 

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