The kids won again last Saturday.
After a slight derailment in June due to poor weather, the twelfth annual Kids Win Fishing Tournament was held last weekend at the Port St. Joe Marina.
Presented by the Kids Win Foundation, the tournament welcomed children ages three to 16 to show off their skills, fishing in-shore or near-shore, from boats, docks, bridges, piers, or beaches.
Each of the 371 registered participants received a trophy and additional prizes were given out to the boy or girl with the biggest catch and the most fish caught.
Kids aged three to eight competed in the “small fry” division and those nine to 16 competed as “juniors.”
Those who registered in advance of the event were treated to a rod and reel, tackle packet, official Kids Win shirt and goodie bag.
“I think we had a great event, and I’m thrilled with how it turned out,” said Rick Carrie, President of the Kids Win Foundation. “It seemed like everyone enjoyed themselves.”
Among the Kids Win participants were Mikey, Korbin, Logan and Kelsey Ellwood of Port St. Joe who spent their morning fishing from the shores of Jetty Park.
Kelsey, age 8, seemed to be having all the luck, catching a small trout early in the day.
“It’s so cool…I sat and watched the fish come near my line and then I caught him,” said Kelsey. “I’m having so much fun.”
Dad Chris Ellwood relocated his family to Gulf County from Pennsylvania two years ago to take advantage of the many fishing opportunities. He said he was happy to see his kids enjoying a sport that he loves.
“It’s so great to bring the kids out,” said Ellwood. “The Kids Win tournament gives them something to do and gets them out of the house.”
Kids Win participants enjoyed a kickoff party on Friday night with a cookout and on-site classes to get tips on rod casting, knot tying and casting nets.
After weighing in their catches on Saturday, contestants and their families were treated to hot dogs at the Marina.
Carrie extended a thank you to everyone who volunteered their time and energy to make the event a success.
“The weather was great and I saw a lot of big smiles,” said Carrie.