“It’s a great day to be with my kids,” said Scott, who owns a maintenance business in Hollywood. “Luckily, work will wait for me. My boys won’t.”
Scott and his sons Kadin Tommie, 8, and Xzavion Tommie, 6, were among 60 competitors Dec. 7 at the Take a Kid Fishing Tournament sponsored by Big Cypress Recreation and based at Moses Jumper’s boat ramp and dock.
There, grown-ups and children teamed up with poles, reels, tackle and bait to fish from docks, banks and boats at the 8 a.m. start. Some stayed put, casting lines along the canal. Others motored off in trucks or water crafts.
Categories included heaviest 12-inch or longer bass, heaviest five bass catch and biggest “critter sizes” among tilapia, speckled perch, brim, garfish, catfish and mudfish.
Twenty-one teams brought back something – even a few fish stories.
Winners took home trophies at the catch-and-release event.
All participants received tackle boxes, and all children were given new fishing rods.
E.J. Marrero and his grandfather, Frank Marrero, used spinner reels and top water lures at the west feeder canal for their combined 9.7 pound bass catch.
“There are some monsters out there, but not today,” Frank Marrero said.
Some winning teams kept fishing techniques and “sweet spots” a mystery.
Sheila Billie, Trinity Williams, Sabre’ Billie, William Bevenue and Reginald Ling won third place in both bass categories. The team weighed in with a 10.48-pound combined catch and one 5.36-pound bass but was mum about where and how the catches were made.
“It’s a secret,” Sheila Billie said.
Recreation site manager Josh Jumper with Canaan Jumper and Trevon Marks took second place in the bass total weight (11.91 pounds) and first place in the biggest bass (6.11) categories. Josh Jumper said the fishes were caught “on a canal” using artificial worms. Their gar, at 4.73 pounds, was lured with live bait – location unrevealed.
Albert Snow won first place in the garfish contest with a 6.45 catch, while Eric McCree took first place for the largest mudfish at 2.94 pounds. Snow’s team, which included Rudy Juarez and Jagger Gaucin, brought in a 5.5-pound bass for second place.
The big winners of the day were Jacob Cotton and Catlen Tommie, who brought in five bass that totaled 12.16 pounds.
Cotton said the team used rubber worms, Duckett poles, REVO reels and a Bass Tracker boat to win.
“We actually caught 45 fish – but all went back to the water except for the biggest,” Tommie said.
Moses Jumper and his grandson Javian Cypress did not hook a single catch along the west boundary canal but enjoyed the experience.
“That’s what today is about. Now kids will be bugging us to go fishing and that’s a good thing because fishing is a good sport,” Moses Jumper said.