The annual kids trout tourney has been going on for nearly half a century and up until recently had never missed a spring cast.

“Rainstorms, windstorms, you name it, we’ve been through it,” said organizer Cooper Gilkes this week, inside his Edgartown tackle shop.

Then came the Covid pandemic, canceling the tournament for two years. But fishing returns to Duarte’s Pond this Saturday, April 9, at first light for kids ages zero to 14.

“I can’t wait,” Mr. Gilkes said. “It’s like Christmas to me.”

And Christmas is coming a bit early this year, Mr. Gilkes said. Usually the tournament takes place in late April or early May but the organizers decided an early April start would be better for the young anglers.

“I take notes every year and was reading through them and decided an early start would better because the lily pads won’t be out yet,” Mr. Gilkes said. “There’s been a lot of lily pad growth in the pond.”

Mr. Gilkes has been organizing the event since its inception and he has the details down. Bait will be provided (no lures are allowed), along with hot-dogs and donuts.

“When else can kids have hot-dogs for breakfast?” he said.

Casting starts at first light on Saturday but families arrive much earlier to get a coveted spot around the pond. Fishing lasts until about 10 a.m., Mr. Gilkes said.

“But it will feel like 1 p.m.,” he added with a smile, noting the early start.

Prizes will be given out in three age groups: 0-8, 9-11, 12-14.

Good luck kids, good luck parents.