131 Keys Kids, 10 years old and younger, participated in the 15th annual Keys Kids Fishing Derby on September 30th. Junior anglers pay no fee to participate in this event. They may fish in one of three different divisions, Offshore, Shoreline or Backcountry. Hosted at the Lorelei, ditty bags packed full of fishing goodies from many local business and other donors, were handed out to all kids who fished. Lines were in at 9AM and the weigh scales closed at 1PM.
The Grand Champion Angler Michael Anchetta age 9 weighed in a 37.2 pound Amberjack, the largest fish in the tournament. Michael took home a Pasta Pantaleo Print, new fishing rod, tackle bag, tournament trophy and a story to tell for years to come. Largest fish in the Offshore division would go to Beau Vaeth age 7 with a 35.8 pound amberjack. Fishing with his dad, angler Asher Cockerham age 9, would weigh in the largest fish in the Backcountry division. His Barracuda weighed in at 20.7 pounds and was released. Fishing from the docks at the Lorelei, with bait donated from Tackle Center of Islamorada and a number of fishing guides, angler Dylan Burley age 6 would weigh in the largest fish in the Shoreline division, a 2.3 pound Mangrove Snapper.
A huge thank you goes to the Lorelei for chumming the waters for our junior anglers. About one half of the kids fished from the shore. They caught and released a variety of different fish throughout the day. Mangrove Mikes supplied us all with donuts and coffee to get the day started. A casting contest was held on the beach where anglers won a multitude of prizes. Coral Shores Cheerleaders raised money selling hot dogs, donated by Lorelei and Cokes donated by Coke. All the winners received a donated Pasta Pantaleo print, fishing rod and trophy. A special thanks goes out to the Captains who donated their boats and took kids fishing. Tournament founder Kathy Lewis was overwhelmed with the smiling faces of both anglers and parents alike. Volunteers helped bait hooks, keep score, check in anglers, and made the day go perfectly! We would like to thank all those who helped to make this event the success it was. We can’t wait until next year!
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