LAKEWOOD RANCH — Nine-year-old Brendon Jameson isn’t an avid fisherman, but he has the sport on his mind lately.
On Feb. 27, Brendon will compete again to win his age bracket in the Fourth Annual Youth Fishing Tournament hosted by Lakewood Ranch Community Activities and the Lakewood Ranch Anglers Club.
“I’m going to catch as many fish as I can,” said Brendon, who took home a trophy and a fishing rod at last year’s event for winning in his age bracket.
The tournament will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, Feb. 27, at Summerfield Lake in Lakewood Ranch. The catch-and-release competition is open to children ages 5 to 15, and no fishing experience is necessary. Members of the Lakewood Ranch Anglers Club will be available to assist participants.
Registration will start at 8:30 a.m. and costs $10 per angler on the day of the event or $5 per angler if pre-registered at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall by 6 p.m., Feb. 26. Each participant will receive a T-shirt, a cooler bag filled with goodies and other items.
Competitive fishing will be from 9-11 a.m. Following the tournament, participants can enjoy a lunch provided by the Lakewood Ranch Kiwanis Club before settling down for the awards ceremony. First-, second- and third-place winners will be awarded for each of three age brackets. One child will earn the “lunker” award for reeling in the biggest catch.
Brendon said he hopes to get to the tournament early to snag his special spot along the lake and, with a bit of luck, come out victorious again.
Another of last year’s winners, Ryan Jaworski of Nolan Middle School, said he is eager to participate again this year. The youth regularly fishes in a lake behind his family’s home in Greenbrook.
“I love catching the fish,” Ryan said. “I like the competition and how it’s a much bigger lake. I get to see all my friends there, too.”
Members of the Anglers Club also couldn’t be more excited.
“This is the big thing we do every year” Angler Club President Lawrie “Red” Bailey said. “Looking at the kids faces whenever he catches his first fish (is amazing). I still remember catching my first trout. (The tournament) gives us a chance to pass on something we’ve always been interested in to the younger generation.”
The club’s vice president, Jeanette Wirz, agreed.
“This is a great sport they can do their whole life, especially living in Florida where you have so many lakes and waterholes and the ocean and the gulf,” said Wirz, who went fishing for the first time in college with just a hook and a string. “You know, you teach a kid to fish and he’s not going to get into trouble.”
The Anglers Club will provide live bait for contestants, but supplies are limited and participants are encouraged to bring their own. The anglers also will have a limited number of loaner fishing rods available for children without equipment.
In case of rain, the event will be moved to Feb. 28 at the same location and times.
Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].
YOUTH FISHING TOURNAMENT
WHEN: 9 a.m. to noon, Feb. 27; Registration starts at 8:30 a.m.; Rain date is Feb. 28
WHERE: Summerfield Lake (located at the end of Summerfield Parkway and Heron’s Nest in Lakewood Ranch)
COST: $5 per angler if registered by 6 p.m., Feb. 26 at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall or $10 per angler the day of the event. Includes a T-shirt and other goodies.
WHAT TO BRING: Fishing rod and reel and bait and any other equipment. (The Lakewood Ranch Anglers Club will have a few fishing rods available for children who have no equipment, but rods are limited in number).
OTHER: Children under 11 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
INFO: Lori Basilone, 907-0202