POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Sixty children cast their lines into the Manasquan River Saturday morning as part of the first annual Inlet Fishing Derby presented by the Point Pleasant Beach Recreation Committee.
The committee held the event Oct. 3 for local children to enjoy after many summer events had to be canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The mayor has asked me to have more community events for the recreation committee and my passion is fishing so I thought this would be a great way to get some more young kids involved in fishing,” organizer Ryan Simunovich said.
“We have about 60 kids here from the ages of 4 to 14 and they all got a shirt and then we also have prizes that were donated by sponsors and so I think we have a really good turnout. A lot of kids are fishing for the first time too which is great.”
According to borough officials, the committee used to hold a family fishing day several years ago but it was stopped for some time, and parents expressed their excitement that members decided to bring the event back once again.
“My kids love fishing and it is a great community event,” said Christina Umek. “The rec used to do it years ago and this year they brought it back which I love.
“It is a great event for them to be with everybody from the community and all their friends and do something fun and learn a little bit more about fishing, so it is a lot of fun.”
Participants lined the inlet to compete for prizes — awarded by age groups 4 to 7, 8 to 10 and 11 to 14 — including for largest and smallest fish, which were supplied by sponsors, including local Jersey Hooker Inlet Bait and Tackle and Fishermen’s Supply Co.
Winners in the 4 to 7 age category included Kendall Perillo, Jordan H. and Ethan Simunovich. For the 8 to 10 category, winners were Samantha Perillo, Eden Neuwirth, Abigail Fatell and Tanner Monticello. In the 11 to 14 age category, winners included Trevor Fitzsimmons, Lexi Perillo and Cody Monticello.
“I think everything went great. We had enough prizes to give every kid that caught a fish a prize. Then for the 4 to 7 year-olds if they caught seaweed we also gave them a prize so we tried to make it a little more fun,” Mr. Simunovich said. “They got fishing rods, they had T-shirts and hats, they had lures, bait traps with books and hats in it. Everybody got something at the end of the day.”
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