Youngsters turn out in force for Bradenton fishing tourney

skennedy@bradenton.comJuly 14, 2014 

BRADENTON -- About 50 youngsters enjoyed a perfect day Sunday, their fishing lines drifting through sun-kissed waters during a "Pee Wee" fishing tournament.

First place went to Jaxon Murray, 8, of Apollo Beach, a young angler who caught a 15 1/2-inch catfish, according to Stacey Romano, co-chairwoman for the Pee Wee division.

"I'm real lucky," said Murray as he clutched his first-place trophy. "I kept saying, 'I'm not going to catch anything,' and at the last minute, it was a catfish."

Second place went to Brian Beckerleg, 5, of Bradenton, with a 10 3/4-inch fish.

Third place went to Breon "Bubby" Brannic, 5, of Bradenton, with a 9 1/2-inch fish, Romano said.

The third annual Children's Pee Wee Fishing Tournament took place in conjunction with an adult fishing tourney, the 18th annual DeSoto Fishing Tournament, which began Friday and ended Sunday.

The Hernando DeSoto Historical Society Inc., put on both events, said co-chairman Dennis Romano.

Part of the proceeds from the tournaments at the Tarpon Pointe Marina, 215 Eighth St. E., Bradenton, will go to organizations that aid children, he said.

The tourney mood was lazy as youngsters sat, fishing poles in hand, overlooking the quiet Manatee River. Above them, the dome of the sky shone pastel blue, floated with gauzy clouds.

They fished in the heat for a couple of hours before retreating to a shady tent loaded with fresh doughnuts and icy drinks.

"I was going to try to catch one," said Reese Williams, 8, of Bradenton, when asked how she had fared during the morning outing. "I didn't catch it. I caught a sponge."

Johnny Jander, 53, of Parrish, watched twins Caitlin and Ally Ryherd, both 8, also of Parrish, as they waited for bites.

Asked if they had caught anything, Jander laughed and remarked: "They caught each others' poles."

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.

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