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Hookers host 21st Pine Island Fishing Tournament & Derby

By Staff | Nov 13, 2019

Maya Elliot from Naples caught her very first fish at the Hookers’ fishing tournament. ED FRANKS

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.

Dalton Dooley, 4th grader at Pine Island Elementary, caught a 40.25-inch redfish. PHOTO PROVIDED

“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!

19 boats

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.

Student winners

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

Bike winners

Kindergarten – Jace Santos (not PIE)

Kindergarten – Katya Markley (not PIE)

2nd – John Lambert

3rd – Shyann Shallow

4th – Miller Hale

5th – Addison Denty