A total of 28 retired and active veterans braved windy conditions to fish the deep sea to try and catch the biggest fish on Saturday as the Golden Hook Fishing Club hosted the fifth annual Fish With A Vet Tournament.
Fishing took place between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. with a subsequent weigh-in at the Tamarind Reef/Green Cay Marina from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The awards dinner followed from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the newly re-opened Deep End Bar and Grille. Local wahoo was prepared as one of the freshly seasoned entrees by Chef Mike at the Deep End. DJ Gary started off the party at 3 p.m. and R&B Connection jumped into the mix from 6 to 9 p.m. following the raffles and awards.
Local businesses as well as off-island businesses donated more than $4,500 in raffle prizes. The major sponsor for the event was TEAM (Territory East Asset Management) Consultants in Christiansted. Two other generous sponsors included NAPA Auto Parts in Castle Coakley and A Better Copy in downtown Christiansted. Reliable island beverage sponsors included Leatherback Brewing, Mutiny Island Vodka, and West Indies. A full list of volunteers, local businesses that donated, sponsors, captains/mates, and organizers will be available soon at Golden Hook Fishing Club’s website and on Facebook.
“GHFC is honored to be able to give back to our veterans and military by hosting the Fish With A Vet Tournament, which has been a very special event on the island,” said Jeremy Janusziewicz, GHFC’s communications coordinator. “We are excited to be working with the founder of FWAV, Barbara Peele, to bring back this fun activity and to support our veterans that have served and sacrificed so much for us. The local businesses, volunteers, captains, and mates really did their part to create another phenomenal event for these men and women who bravely fought for us.”
The proceeds of the tournament benefit the Fish With A Vet, St. Croix, USVI non-profit organization that supports veterans and veteran organizations in the USVI. Their mission is to thank and honor those veterans and active military who have served and protected our country.
The fishing tournament was free to veterans and the military. Prizes donated by local businesses were awarded for first-, second-, and third-largest fish, as well as the laughable smallest fish.
The winners, boats, and captains were: First place, 17-pound barracuda, Graviel Santana on Golden Eagle, Capt. Edgar Bengoa; second place, 12.5-pound barracuda, Augustin Mason on Down South Charters, Capt. Randy Brewington; third place, 9.2-pound barracuda, Dale Mason on Down South Charters; smallest fish, 1.3-pound bar jack, Kevin Henley on Down South Charters.