, 2015

Spanish mackerel tournament slated this weekend

by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

Registration is still open and a few spots remain for this weekend’s sixth annual Lancaster County Little League Spanish Mackerel Fishing Tournament.

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Fishing will be Saturday, August 23, with a mandatory captain’s meeting Thursday, August 22, at the Hayden Building at Dream Fields, 1385 Irvington Road, Kilmarnock.

The entry fee is $175 per boat and some $5,000 in prize money will be awarded, according to tournament director Kathy Pittman. The pay out is based on a 60-boat entry.

First prize is $2,500; second prize is $1,000; third prize is $750; fourth prize is $500; fifth prize is $250. Prizes are based on aggregate weight of fish.

Additionally, prizes will be awarded to each of the junior, lady and special angler winners. And a party, valued at $300, on the Ultimate Gaming Trailer is being donated by Archie Kellum of Richmond as a youth prize, said Pittman.

A $25,000 prize for breaking the state Spanish mackerel record is offered by Tri-Star Supermarket in Kilmarnock.

Chesapeake Boat Basin in Kilmarnock, which serves as the weigh-in station and host site for the awards ceremony and dinner following the tournament, is sponsoring a $500 cash prize if a winning fish is caught on a Boston Whaler.

This year’s sponsors include Tri-Star Supermarket as a World Series Sponsor; Boston Whaler as a Manufacturer Sponsor; Chesapeake Boat Basin, Coastal Builders, First Strike Sport Fishing, Hudson-Blunt Insurance Agency and Noblett’s Appliance, all as Press Box Sponsors.

This year’s tournament will feature three boats designated to the special angler division, according to Special Angler Foundation co-founder Joe Smith.

There are at least seven special anglers pre-registered, said Smith, “and we’re hoping for some that we don’t know about to show up.”

The special angler division for anglers with special needs was added to the tournament last year. Following the tournament, Smith and his son Sanders founded the Special Angler Foundation and some seven anglers have earned points throughout the year at various tournaments.

The Smiths are hosting a barbecue dinner and party at their home in Little Bay to recognize the 2013 national points leaders.

“What we have found is you ask any tournament to add a special angler division and they’re more than happy to add it,” said Smith.

“Our goal is to always be in public tournaments where families can participate with their kids. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents. They can all fish along. For instance, in this tournament, my wife is fishing in the lady angler [division].”

All proceeds from the Spanish mackerel tournament benefit the Lancaster County Little League and the Youth Club of Lancaster County.

To register, call Pittman at 724-9279, or visit dream-fields.com.

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