Saltwater Fishing Tournaments
1st Annual Reel 'em In Rodeo Saltwater Fishing Tournament
The first annual Reel ‘Em In Rodeo, presented by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources Marine Division, was held on Saturday, November 15, 2014 at the Mt. Pleasant Pier. Despite the freezing temperatures, 55 dedicated youth anglers ranging in age from 6 to 16 came to fish, and managed to catch and release 46 fish during the tournament.
Gavin Reynolds took home the big fish award with a 1.24 pound striped burrfish. First place for the most fish caught went to Carter Leonard, who managed to catch 8 sea bass. Second place, with 6 sea bass, was awarded to Gabriel McCutcheonson. Adam Doyens and Alex Ellisor tied for third place with 5 fish apiece. The most unusual catch, at least for this tournament, ended up being a spotted seatrout caught by Jesse Mclourin.
A number of DNR certified fishing instructors along with members of the East Cooper Fishing Club volunteered their time to help anglers with everything from tying rigs to offering helpful advice. "Fishing is just a great activity for adults and kids to do together because it eliminates the generation gap", said Robert Wiggers, Public Information Director for the Marine Division.
Local businesses including Haddrell's Point Tackle and Supply, The Charleston Angler, The SC Aquarium, Blackbeard's Cove, West Marine, Affinity Charters and Saltfisher Charters donated additional awards and prizes for the anglers.
The tournament was the kick-off event for the Marine Division's campaign to get more kids involved in saltwater fishing. Similar events along with "how to" fishing clinics are planned for 2015.