ROMANCOKE — Saturday morning, Aug. 10, 119 children joined in the fun of the 14th annual Kent Island Fisherman’s Club Fishing Derby at the Romancoke Pier. Fishing began at 9 a.m. and ended at 11. In the space of two hours, the children caught 374 fish. The program is catch and release, so no fish were kept, but lots of pictures were taken. As for many of the children, it was the first fish they ever caught.
There were three age groups: ages 3 to 5; ages 6 to 10; and ages 11 to 16. Free bait and loaner fishing poles were provided for those who needed them.
In the ages 3 to 5 category, 21 children fished, catching a total of 64 fish. Angie Perez caught the most fish with nine; Logan Merek caught the biggest fish, a 10 ¼ inch white perch, ; Malia Khlok caught the smallest fish, a 2 ½ inch minnow; and William Caughey won the award for the most unusual catch, a 7 inch sea trout.
In the ages 6 to 10 category, 50 children caught a total of 169 fish. MOST FISH — 9 by Lucas Motto caught the most with nine; Adam Redd caught the biggest, a 12 inch gar/needle fish; zJacob Sommers caught the smallest, a 3 inch minnow; and Erik Graver won the award for most unusual with a 6 inch toadfish.
In the ages 11 to 16 category, 29 children caught a total of 141 fish. There was a four-way tie for most fish caught by Zach Nickerson, McKaylie Mogel, Thomas Cotton and McGabin Mogel, who each caught 11 fish. Lylka Gearhart caught the biggest fish, an 11 inch gar/needle fish; Haley Hopkins caught the smallest fish, a 2 ½ inch minnow; and Steven Herman won the award for most unusual catch with a 4 inch crab.
Following the derby, an awards program was held at Kent Island American Legion Post 278 in Stevensville.
All of the winners were received new fishing poles and tackle boxes along with some type trophy. Many Kent Island businesses supported this event, providing gifts for the children and their parents. Sweet Frog provided the mascot for the event.
Fishing Derby Chairman Lou Wade thanked longtime KIFC President Bert Olmstead and the many members of the club who volunteered their time and expertise in fishing to make the fishing derby a continuing success for local children.