Donald O'Shaughnesy of West Tisbury with his 17 1/8 inch trout. — Mark Alan Lovewell

The annual children’s trout tournament starts tomorrow morning at “first light.” But securing a choice fishing spot can often require a wander in the dark with a flashlight. The fishing contest at the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank’s Duarte’s Pond, off Lambert’s Cove Road, is for children 14 years old and younger and its free. There are plenty of prizes on the line including two brand new bicycles — one for the angler who catches the biggest trout, the other for the one who catches the biggest of fish of another species. While Duarte’s Pond is stocked with trout, there are resident pickerel and catfish, too.

Cooper A. Gilkes 3rd, chairman of the Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club sponsored event, said the pond has been filled with hundreds of trout of all sizes and species. The club purchased the trout from a fish farm in Brewster specially raised for the event.

“Come early,” Mr. Gilkes said. “It always breaks my heart when I see children arriving at the pond as we are having the awards ceremony.” There will be plenty of expertise on hand for anyone who needs help. Grandparents standing shoreside looking anxious are often past participants of the kids tourney. Many have opinions to share on how to catch a fish.

The awards ceremony takes place around 9 a.m. or earlier, if organizers decide that the fish have stopped biting.

There are three categories divided by age and there are prizes for each age group; 12 to 14 years of age, nine to eleven and eight years and younger.

“It is the only place you can get a hot dog for breakfast,” Mr. Gilkes added. The grilled hot dogs have been donated by a contributor and have been specially shipped from Florida for the event. Even the hotdog rolls are special.

“They are delicious,” Mr. Gilkes said.

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