RiverLife & PV Fish--Ponte Vedra High School’s fishing club—recently hosted its’ fourth annual youth fishing tournament at North Guana Outpost. Ten boats and 16 teen anglers, ages 15-17, took to the Intracoastal in search of primarily Redfish, but Trout, Flounder, Sheepshead, and Black Drum could also put them on the scoreboard. Some teams chose to fish the early morning low tide, while other teams focused on the afternoon flood tide, and some fished both tides.
There were 5 winning categories: bait, artificial, fly rod, overall, and largest fish. The total number of legal sized fish caught were 17 Redfish and 2 Trout. Two undersized snook were also nabbed, uncommon for our area due to the cooler water temps.
Awards went as follows: The team led by Craig Etheredge, one of the Dad’s, had an exceptional day with 8 Reds and 1 Trout to win both the Artificial and Overall Division. Angler Tyler Etheredge led the team landing 6 Reds. Angler Luke Calamari caught an addition 2 Reds and 1 Trout. The team bagged a total of $225 in Strike-Zone gift cards, a $50 Pusser’s Carribean Grille gift card and an assortment of lures from Palm Valley Outdoors.
An all teen angler team composed of Eric Tomaszewski and Matthew Wheeler won the Bait Division with 2 legal Reds. They anglers worked hard for their awards, fishing in the intracoastal in the morning, then relaunching in Lake Guana in the afternoon. They also won $225 in Strike-Zone gift cards, a $50 Pusser’s Grille gift card, and hats from North Guana Outpost.
The Fly Division was won by Nate Clardy guiding angler Zander Wolff catching 2 Reds. Zander had been in the Fly wining category before, when he caught his first ever Red on fly 2 years ago. They each won a personalized signed Redfish print from artist Vaughn Cochran of Blackfly Outfitters and $50 towards Pusser’s Grille.
In addition to the winning categories, other notable catches were 5 Reds on artificial caught by anglers Oliver DeVries and Jack Furness guided by Capt. Austin Bacon. Furness landed the largest fish of the day, a 27’ Red, and for it won a pair of Costa sunglasses from North Guana Outpost and $50 towards Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Also, Arun Rajhansa, President of the newly formed PV Fish club, gave fly fishing a try and ended up catching his first Red on fly, guided by Matt Omlor.
The other anglers from the club who also fished the tournament were Will Henne, Gus Jordheim, Liam Young, Wyatt Rogers, Kaiden Brown, Jack Hueschel, and Tommy DiFilippis.
Participants thanked the Captains who set aside their day, and who at their own expense, took the teens fishing. They included Capt. Austin Bacon (GLoomis SE rep), Ken Bales (First Coast Alarm), Mark Tkachik, Shawn Moss (Saltwater Gospel), Greg Grandstad (Floridian Fly Charters), Nate Clardy (Sea Pines Landscaping), Matt Omlor, and Craig Etheredge. Thanks also went to the owners of North Guana Outpost, Jim and Gale, and their daughter Lauren, for opening up their venue for the awards banquet.
RiverLife Ministries created the tournament to help teens improve their angling skills and provide positive roles for teens in the Ponte Vedra Beach community.