Thirty-seven boats left their docks with the shared goal of reeling in the biggest fish to win their share of the $12,000 of prize money in the ‘Fishing for Futures’ tournament while also helping the youth members of Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County (BGCSLC). Tom Kenney, captain of the Offshore Warrior, met that goal by catching the largest kingfish by day’s end to earn the $5,000 prize for the largest fish caught.
The inshore/offshore tournament had winners in all categories. Donnie Snyder, captain of ‘Salt Therapy’ earned the first-place catch for offshore Dolphin while Charles Hughes took the first-place recognition for the Inshore category.
While the tournament anglers had their lines in, sponsors Pat Price, Stuart Sailfish Foundation, MetCo, Safari 1, and Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County gave most BGCSLC members their first experience fishing as well as their first opportunity to catch a fish. The youth spent several hours on the ocean ending their day with their own fish tales to tell.
“We always appreciate when our supporters come through and fundraise for our Club programs and activities. When they go the extra mile and provide our Clubkids with a direct experience like fishing, that is a game-changer,” said Will Armstead, CEO of BGCSLC.
The tournament was founded by Rick Miller of TRM Construction Management three years ago. In between the annual event, Miller’s team came to the Westside Club in Fort Pierce to offer a fishing workshop for the youth so they would know how to bait a hook with live bait, reel in a fish, and unhook a fish humanely.
For the landlubbers, BGCSLC hosted the Free Family Fun Festival in partnership with the Manatee Observation and Education Center before the official weigh-in of the returning tournament anglers later that day. Teens from the Club’s ‘Learn & Earn’ program worked their own food truck serving meals throughout the day.
‘This was the first time we were open to the public post-COVID so it was great to do it for a good cause.” said Rachel Tennant, manager of the Manatee Center.
“We had perfect weather. Fisherman made great catches. Kids were provided a memorable experience. Mission accomplished.” said Jamie Caldwell, presenting tournament sponsor with UBU Brands.