The Captain Bob Lewis Kids Fishing Classic will once again deliver on its promise to bring a great fishing environment and camaraderie to the young anglers of South Florida through its unique fishing tournament. The event, in its second year of the new format, is the only of its kind in South Florida. The “Kids Fishing Classic” has been heralded as a huge success by participants, parents and the fishing community alike.
Kids will surely be excited to compete again this year by targeting prized inshore species like trout, snook, grouper and snapper. The offshore categories will be highlighted with catch of kingfish, dolphin, tuna and maybe even a sailfish. The tournament also offers a fresh water division and a Special Needs division. “We have worked hard to create numerous fishing categories to give these young anglers the best chance to fish waters and styles that fit their skill levels,” says Jose Fonseca CBLKFC President. Young anglers to 16 years old will be able to compete on private boats, head boats and professionally guided crafts, as well as from shore, canals and bridges. With 7 separate divisions and 3 age groups in each division the tournament has placed all participants on a level playing field no matter where they choose to fish. Numerous awards will be presented for the winning youth anglers in their divisions and age group.
This year’s tournament will once again be hosted at the Shake A Leg facility in Coconut Grove, FL on April 25th and April 26th. The Captain’s Meeting kicks off the festivities on Friday, April 25th followed by a day of fishing and the awards ceremony on the 26th. “The facility is uniquely equipped to house all the needs of the CBLKFC” says Fonseca. “We have to be flexible in weighing fish by accepting boats by water and those folks who wish to come by land via auto/truck. Couple that with the need for space for 300+ participants, their families and the footprint necessary to allow for on land festivities, the Shake A Leg facility fits our needs beautifully.”
Since moving the format from a big money billfish event that donated proceeds for kids fishing and the environment, to directly involving the benefactors as participants, the CBLKBC has experienced a positive growth from its sponsors. However, Fonseca is quick to point out there is still plenty of work to do. And this year, with the help of sponsors, the tournament has placed an added emphasis on getting underprivileged kids participating. “There always seems to be a kid that wants to fish and we just want to be there to help facilitate that desire and it takes real money to make it all happen” he states. “We could always use more help for this great cause.”
With the feedback the directors received from last year’s tournament the board feels strongly that they have captured the essence of what the Bob Lewis stands for. They made some exciting improvements, and indications already point to a much larger event this year, including increased room for drift boat entries and a coordinator to help families that want to share the expense of chartering a boat. There will also be many exciting things for the children to do, both at the Angler’s Meeting and at the awards ceremony.
The Capt Bob Lewis Billfish Challenge is a 501c3, not for profit that benefits kids and the environment. For more information please call 305-725-5514 or visit billfishchallenge.com.