The eleventh annual Kids Win Fishing Tournament will take at the Port St. Joe Marina on May 10 and 11.
Presented by the Kids Win Foundation, children ages three to 16 who register will learn the basics of fishing and be armed with the know-how to reel in a big one.
Trophies will be given out for the biggest fish and most fish caught within each division. The “Small Fry” division is for kids aged three to eight and “Junior,” for children nine to 16. The contest is limited to in-shore, near-shore, Intercostal waterway fishing and contestants can be no further than three miles from shore. Fishing can take place from a boat, dock, bridge, pier, beach, shore or while wading.
“It’s about teaching kids to fish,” said Rick Carrie, President of the Kids Win Foundation.
Carrie spent the last nine years working around the marina and has always encouraged locals to fish, especially the kids. His reasons have deep, historical roots.
“My grandmother said that it’s hard for kids to get in trouble when they’re fishing,” said Carrie with a laugh.
The first 350 kids who register for the event will receive a rod and reel, a tackle packet, T-shirt and goodie bag. With 348 participants in the 2012 event, Carrie predicted 2013 to be the biggest tournament to date.
On Friday, May 10, registered contestants can pick up their fishing equipment at the Port St. Joe Marina between 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. ET.
Kids will also enjoy a cookout, exhibits, and on-site classes to get tips on rod casting, knot tying, and casting nets. These classes will provide kids with important information to ensure they have a fun and active day of catching fish instead of remembering the one that got away. The official rules meeting will follow at 6:30 at the Marina.
The tournament kicks off at 7 a.m. ET on Saturday morning. Fishing ends by noon with trophy presentation to follow at one o’clock. Children may fish with an adult, but must be the ones to reel in all fish entered into the competition.
Registration is free and is open until May 9. Those interested in volunteering or making donations should contact the Port St. Joe Marina at 850-227-9393.