77.8 F
Cruz Bay
Saturday, November 26, 2022


July 6, 2002 – Ten-year old Daniel Turbe scurried up the rocks along the Crown Bay dock, fishing pole in hand and a big smile on his face. "See what I caught. There's a big one in there," Turbe said. Out since the crack of dawn and braving both hot sun and cold rain, Turbe was one of more than 175 junior anglers competing in the July Open Tournament for kids.
"This is an event we look forward to each year," said Shelley Blythe, as her 13-year-old angler son, Chris, completed weighing in his catch at the Offshore Marine-based weigh-in station in Subbase.
"There's definitely more kids, and more fish, this year," said Ruth Gomez, one of the marine professionals with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources' Fish & Wildlife division who serves as official weigh-master.
Among the most popular types of fish caught were squirrelfish, yellowtail, hamlet and grunt, Gomez said.
As a conservation lesson, kids were given large white plastic buckets for their catch. Once the live fish were weighed in – an exercise in dexterity for Gomez to keep the finned critters from flapping off the scale – the kids ran their catch- filled buckets back to the shoreline and returned the fish to the sea.
Just after the 12-noon cut-off weigh-in time, the porch at Offshore Marine was filled with kids. There was face painting, entertaining clowns, live music and a holiday lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon and ice cream to keep the young folks busy while the scores were being tabulated. Parents looked as happy as the kids.
"This year we have more parents and that's great to see. Whole families coming out to fish," said Harry Clinton, executive director of the hosting Virgin Islands Gamefishing Club.
Since 1996, registration for this junior fishing event has been free in order to encourage greater participation.
"Just the look on a kids face when they catch something is pretty special," Clinton said. "The fish might not be any bigger than their palms, and there's some little palms out there, but the look of satisfaction is the same as if it were a 1,000-pound blue marlin."
Kids to six years old – Total Weight
First Prize: Cisco Conner, 6.476 pounds
Second Prize: Rocchina Arnold, 5.61 pounds
Third Place: Shawn Evans, 3.46 pounds
Kids to six years old
Largest Fish: Chelsea Aubain, 0.96 pounds
Kids seven to 12 years old – Total Weight
First Place: Mickeal Blanchard, 23.484 pounds
Second Place: Clyde Tapp, 11.86 pounds
Third Place: Daniel Turbe, 8.802 pounds
Kids seven to 12 years old
Largest Fish: Luke Davis, 0.94 pounds
Kids 13 to 15 years old- Total Weight
First Place: Richie Welsh, 11.868 pounds
Second Place: Daniel Magras, 6.86 pounds
Third Place: Dana Joseph, Jr, 0.96 pounds
Kids 13 to 15 years old
Largest Fish: Richie Welsh, 11.31 pounds

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