RiverLife Ministries hosts second annual youth fishing tournament


RiverLife Ministries hosted its second annual youth fishing tournament at Palm Valley Outdoors Oct. 14, in which nine boats and 18 anglers (ages 14-16) took to the Intracoastal Waterway in search of redfish, trout, flounder, sheepshead, black drum and numerous prizes.

While some teams chose to fish during the midday low tide, others focused on the late afternoon flood tide. When the fishing had ended, the team lead by Capt. Andrew Mizell nearly swept the board, as his anglers – Jack Heuschkel and Brett Houston of Ponte Vedra Beach – caught 10 reds and three trout, winning the Bait Division, the Artificial Division and the Combined Division. According to Mizell, the group pulled in around 40 fish in total. For prizes, each angler won $150 in Strike Zone gift cards and multiple hats and buffs. Mizell won $240 in gift cards to Pusser’s Bar and Grille.

The Fly Division was won by guide Gavin Glover, and anglers Zander Wolff and Joe Taraboletti of Ponte Vedra Beach. The anglers won a personalized and signed redfish print from artist Vaughn Cochran and hats, and Glover won an $80 gift card to Pusser’s.

For the second year in a row, the largest fish of the day – a 24-inch redfish – was caught by John Whitley of Ponte Vedra Beach. Whitley was guided by Ryan Curley and fished alongside friend Topher Wolff. Whitley won a pair of Costa Del Mar sunglasses, and Ryan won a $100 gift card to Oyster Creek Outfitters.    

Captains who volunteered for the event included Capt. Bart Swab, Ryan Curley, Capt. Austin Bacon, Capt. James Ferguson, Capt. Andrew Mizell, Nate Clardy, John Mauriello, Gavin Glover and Capt. Matt Chipperfield. Sponsors included Blackfly Outfitters, Strike Zone Fishing, Oyster Creek Outfitters, Pusser’s Bar and Grille, Palm Valley Outdoors, Team Que Mas of Islamorada and the boat captains and guides.