ST. THOMAS — Thirteen-year-old Maykaiya Smith had never caught a fish before until Saturday. That’s when she proudly pulled in a small Blue Runner using a handline and hook while fishing on the docks at IGY’s American Yacht Harbor Marina in the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club’s Halloween Kids Fishing Tournament.
“I wanted to do this for a long time,” said Smith, who was fishing with her parent and siblings. “I was so excited.”
An enthusiastic turnout of kids ages 14 and under fished either in the morning or afternoon session from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., designed by organizers to maximize participation yet minimize crowds in a COVID-safe fashion.
The event was free, with junior anglers receiving backpacks, buckets, handlines, and bait. Members of the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club walked the docks and offered fishing tips.
Afterward, kids were treated to pizza and then prize giving. Trophies, prizes, and gift certificates were awarded to kids catching the three largest fish, the smallest fish, the strangest fish, and most fish in two categories: ages 10 and under and 11 to 14 years.
Largest Fish (10-under): 1. Keeon Connor, 0.94 pounds; 2. Shane Berry, 0.60 pounds; 3. Kamron Douglas, 0.57 pounds.
Largest Fish (11-14): 1. Lesha Nordstrom, 0.61 pounds; 2. Lesha Nordstrom, 0.38 pounds; 3. Leah Williams, 0.34 pounds.
Most Fish: Shane Berry, 10
Smallest Fish: Tucker Edwards, 0.02 pounds.
Strangest Fish: Maykaijah Smith, remora.
Largest Fish (10-under): 1. Aben Dellinger, 1.51 pounds; 2. Noble Dellinger, 0.76 pounds; 3. Sage Steuerwald, 0.76 pounds.
Largest Fish (11-14): 1. Luke Quetel, 0.68 pounds; 2. Mensah Jacobs, 0.24 pounds; 3. Luke Quetel, 0.06 pounds.
Most Fish: Christian Berry, 15.
Smallest Fish: Earl Questel, 0.04 pounds.
Strangest Fish: Lynnea Steuerwald, mud crab.