In its second year, the Captain Bob Lewis Kids Fishing Classic, held at Shake-A-Leg in Coconut Grove on Saturday, continued the vision of the tournament’s namesake by passing along the tradition of fishing.
“My kids had some friends who had never fished before. So I got a bucket of shrimp and went down to the pier by Deering Estates,” angler and father Scott Salyers said. “The one boy who had never caught a fish before managed to catch a nice mangrove snapper that was just a head bigger than the rest.
“The others caught more, but he had the biggest and that was all that mattered.”
Salyers looked around at the many smiling, sun-kissed faces that were happily running around the Shake-A-Leg facility after a day of fishing and said: “That right there is what it is all about. These kids are the future of our sport.”
Although there were some children who never fished before, there were some experienced youth anglers, such as Laurel David, who has four world records with the IGFA with cobia, African pompano, blackfin tuna and shortbill spearfish as a Small Fry. In Saturday’s tournament she caught a 13-pound kingfish.
Daniel Horrowitz, 8, of Miami, couldn’t have been more than 40 pounds, but he knew what he was talking about and reeled in a 31-pound blackfin tuna that was nearly bigger than him.
“I was fishing with live herring off the bottom,” Horrowitz said. “We thought it was something else because we were fishing the bottom, but when I saw what it was, I was very surprised that it was a tuna!”
The most unique catch of the day was from Shaun McReynolds, 14, of Kendall, who released a 10-foot sawfish in Flamingo.
“We had half of a jack that we threw out about 10 feet behind the boat — I am not sure how big the weight was,” McReynolds said. “After about 15 minutes, the reel started going off. We were fighting it for an hour, and when brought it up it was a sawfish.”
The tournament included 196 boys and girls from all backgrounds and experience levels for a day of fishing from land, bridge, boat and pier.
It didn’t matter where they fished from, just as long as they got out and experienced the thrill of fishing.