Hookers host 21st Pine Island Fishing Tournament & Derby
Cars filled the nearby parking lots and lined Pine Island Road Sunday, Nov. 3, when the Matlacha Hookers hosted their 21st annual Pine Island Fishing Tournament & Derby at the Olde Fish House Marina.
The fishing derby is the largest fundraiser for the Hookers and the money raised goes towards scholarships and to assist Pine Island Elementary in a variety of ways.
Plans are made and committees are formed months before the November event.
“It takes a lot of people to put this fishing derby together” co-chair Kate Swanstrom said. “We have three separate co-chairs to head three committees.”
Swanstrom heads the “day of the event” chair.
“My job is to organize the day and be sure everyone has everything they need,” Swanstrom said. “I became involved with the Matlacha Hookers shortly after I got here from Colorado. I wanted to get to know my community, someone suggested the Matlacha Hookers and I went to a meeting. Someone at the meeting asked for a volunteer to co-chair the fishing derby and here I am still co-chair three years later!”
The contest included both children and adults. The adults leave on fishing boats early in the morning and the children fish from the docks at Old Fish House Marina.
Brendan and Maria Fischer brought their son Kenneth.
“This is a truly wonderful event,” Maria said. “I didn’t realize how big this is and Kenneth is having a wonderful time.
“We are celebrating a beautiful day at the Pine Island Elementary Fishing Derby and the kids and parents are having a great time,” PIE Principal Steve Hook said. “The kids are catching not just fish, but big fish. All of us at Pine Island Elementary thank the Matlacha Hookers because they’re so supportive of the school and they hold a great community event.”
With 19 boats entered, everyone who submitted a fish photo for the Catch Photo Release tournament won a prize!
17 photo submissions
1st place / Biggest Redfish – Team “Dooley Conchs” – Capt. Shane Dooley, Sherry Dooley, Dalton Dooley (who caught the biggest red 40.25″) – 185.75 total inches
2nd place – Team “The old, the bold, the old & their body guard” – Capt. Shane Erhart, Kyle Curry, Danny Latham, Billy Glass – 179.5 total inches
3rd Place – Team Reel Rednecks – Evan Rexroat, Jack Delaney – 151.5 total inches
4th place – Team Aquaholics – Capt. Harold SCaff, Ed Mcdermitt, Chad Mckeown – 138.75 Total Inches
5th place – Team F.O.C.U.S. – Capt. JR. Webster, Glen Lainge – 114.25 total Inches
Biggest Redfish – Team Dooley Conchs – 40.25 inches
Biggest Snook – Team Tow Boat US Charlotte Harbor – 36 inches
Biggest Trout – Team Nauti BJ (Black Jack) – 21 inches
6th Place $150 sponsored by: Accuright Survey’s – Team Need More Tito’s
7th Place $100 sponsored by: Mr. Front End – Team Total Payroll
8th Place Two fishing shirts sponsored by: Rapid Graphix – Team The Joint Venture
9th Place $150 sponsored by Capt. Rob – Team Nauti BJ
10th Place $150 sponsored by Capt. Rob – Team Salt Bandits
11th Place $150 sponsored by Marine Trading Post – Team Costa Mechanical
12th Pace $60 sponsored by an anonymous donor – Team Forty Five
13th Place $100 sponsored by Snook Hut Bait & Tackle – Team R & D
14th Place Rod & Reel sponsored by Seven Sea Bait & Tackle – Team The Bus
15th Place $150 sponsored by Lehr’s Economy Tackle – Team Searider
16th Place $100 sponsored by: Accuright Survey’s – Team Tow Boat US Charlotte Harbor
17th Place $50 sponsored by: Accuright Survey’s – Team Big Citrus
The Matlacha Hookers will have a live Facebook event on Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Olde Fish House Marina & Restaurant for the teams who did not place in the top 5.
One team from this year’s even will be randomly selecting to win a free entry into next year’s tournament. That team also will win a $100 gift certificate from Salt Water Smokehouse.
The total amount raised will be announced soon.
The winners of the 2019 Pine Island Elementary Fishing Derby:
4th and 5th
1st – Gianna Gnarra, 5th grade – 2.64 lbs
2nd – Chance Barnhill, 5th grade – 2.52 lbs
3rd – Miller Hale, 4th grade – 1.71 lbs
2nd and 3rd
1st Brendon McQuade, 2nd grade – 1.76 lbs
2nd – Logan Dinneen, 2nd grade – 1.48 lbs
3rd – Colton Bigler, 2nd grade – 0.50 lbs
Kindergarten and 1st
1st – Skyler Bigler, kindergarten – 1.46 lbs
2nd – Savanna Troost, kindergarten – 0.72 lbs
Principals Award – Aaliya Swenson
Grand Slam – Biggest Fish Caught – Michelle Oper – 1.4 lbs
Kindergarten – Jace Santos (not PIE)
Kindergarten – Katya Markley (not PIE)
2nd – John Lambert
3rd – Shyann Shallow
4th – Miller Hale
5th – Addison Denty