Another cast net will be raffled off during the 14th Annual Pine Island Elementary Fishing Tournament & Derby this weekend, which has been donated by an island resident since the tournaments inception.
Cast Net Steve, who has been making cast nets his whole life, said he has donated his cast net every year for the tournament because it is for a good cause and it gives him something to do.
"We did good for people, we were happy doing good for people, we had a real good time," Cast Net Steve said of the past tournaments.
Cast Net Steve donated a red, white and blue cast net for the 14th Annual Pine Island Elementary Fishing Tournament & Derby, which will be raffled off during the event Oct. 14.
He said he met Nancy Goodwin, the founder of the Matlacha Hookers, a while ago and learned that she was from the same town where he grew up. As a single father, he said Goodwin stepped in as a mother figure for his daughter, who he raised from the time she was 14 years old.
"My daughter wanted to become a Hooker," Cast Net Steve said. "When she was old enough she became a Hooker."
Since his daughter spent a lot of time with Goodwin, she attended a lot of the Hooker events, which, by default, incorporated Cast Net Steve into the events as well.
If You Go:
What: 14th Annual Pine Island
Elementary Fishing Tournament
When: Oct. 14, children 8 a.m.
to 1 p.m.; adults 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Olde Fish House Marina,
4530 Pine Island Road
Registration: Call Karen
Burns at 239-440-3875
"I helped out because my daughter was a Hooker," he said. "Because of Nancy and my daughter is why I got involved."
Six years ago he began creating nets that are red, white and blue for the tournament.
Cast Net Steve completed this year's net about six to eight weeks ago, which is the same color scheme of red, white and blue.
Over the years he said he has only heard of one of the nets being used for fishing, the other nets have been hung up for display.
Matlacha Hookers Madam DJ Ruscik said she hopes the community comes out and supports the tournament because the money raised goes back into the community by helping the students at Pine Island Elementary School.
"The Hookers have really made a difference in the community," she said.
The efforts of this year's tournament will benefit the Compass Learning Program. Compass Learning is a computer software-based program that allows teachers to build a class, as well as an opportunity to build assignments and assessments for students, which allows them to work on their own individualized learning path.
Ruscik said the two original tournaments on the island were the Bobby Holloway Memorial Fund and the Hookers' fishing tournament.
"These are two organizations that have been around for a long time," she said, adding that people should support the events that really give back to the community.
This year the tournament will be held Sunday, Oct. 14, at the Olde Fish House Marina. The adult fishing tournament, which will begin at 7 a.m. and end promptly at 2 p.m. at the docks, is $50 per person with a boat maximum of four anglers. Children can also fish in the adult tournament for $50.
Advanced registration can be done at Old St. James Marina, Four Winds Marina, Seven Seas Bait & Tackle and the Olde Fish House. The registration fee includes a tournament T-shirt, the eligibility to win prizes, along with the chance to enjoy a fish fry.
The captain's meeting for the adult anglers will be held Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Olde Fish House Marina at 5:30 p.m.
The prizes for the tournament include $500 for each of the heaviest legal mangrove snapper, redfish and trout, and $1,000 for the heaviest legal slam.
The children's tournament, which is divided into three age groups, will be held from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Each age group will have the opportunity to fish for 1 1/2 hours.
The cost to sponsor a Pine Island Elementary School student is $30 and a non-Pine Island Elementary School student is $35. That sponsorship includes a fishing rod and reel, bait, games, trophies, face painting, free lunch and two sodas, T-shirt painting and four bike raffles.
The divisions include the sharks (4th-5th grade students), 8-9:30 a.m.; Pinfish (2nd-3rd grade students), 9:45-11:15 a.m.; and Shrimp (kindergarten-1st grade students), 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
J.D. Holloway from the Waterfront Restaurant will provide the lunches for the children.
The event will also include music, a 50/50 raffle, Chinese and silent auctions and a cast net raffle.