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Junior anglers reel in catches at Deerfield Beach pier – South Florida Sun Sentinel

Jr. Anglers Benny, 5, and Aurora Fallon, 3, of Deerfield Beach, with Mike Cleary are all smiles catching fish on the pier. (Emmett Hall / Contributor)
The seventh annual Deerfield Beach Jr. Anglers Day was record setting as families gathered at the Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier for a fun day of catching fish. A chamber-of-commerce weather day and the fish biting put a smile of the faces of every child reeling in one of their catches. Over 350 young anglers got an opportunity to enjoy the sport of fishing with assistance from the many volunteers and partners who were responsible for making the popular event a success.
City of Deerfield Beach employees prepare the free fishing rods, reels, tackle and buckets for over 350 young anglers at the seventh annual Jr. Anglers Day. They are, from left, Adele Tizzino, Esther Auguste, Vennillia Wyatt and Jack Yerxa. (Emmett Hall / Contributor)
Boys and girls ages 5 to 13 registered for an assigned time slot for a $5 registration fee. Every angler received a free fishing rod, along with a bait bucket with fishing tackle. Arts and crafts, T-shirts, games, marine education, music, food, and ice cream were part of the festivities.
Deerfield Beach Mayor Bill Ganz, an avid fisherman, has been instrumental in getting the popular event underway seven years ago, and after the COVID-19 lockdown the support for the event continues to flourish.
Jaden Swanson, 12, of Lighthouse Point, kisses his blue runner catch at the seventh annual Jr. Anglers Day at the International Fishing Pier in Deerfield Beach. (Emmett Hall / Contributor)
“I just think this event is awesome and with the weather cooperating, we are having a beautiful day,” he said. “We are rocking and rolling, and there are a lot of fishing rods bending, and the kids are smiling so that’s all that matters. This event continues to get bigger and better. I’m a native of South Florida and this is my passion. I feel like a little kid out here.”
Volunteers lined up around the International Fishing Pier to help the kids enjoy their fishing experience. What started out as an idea suggested by a member from the Lead Advisory Board has evolved into one of Deerfield’s most popular events.
Bryan Brennan of Chaos, Capt. Skip Dana of Sir Reel and Mike Cleary of FishAngler take a break from cutting bait and helping youngsters reel in fish on the Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier. (Emmett Hall / Contributor)
“We couldn’t do this without the volunteers and all our partners who put this together every year,” Ganz said. “People like Skip Dana come out here every year and give their heart and soul to the kids and FishAngler is such a huge sponsor for us. We have so many sponsors and volunteers from Deerfield and neighboring cities who come out here for the kids. There is always someone around to help a kid out.”
Capt. Mike Cleary of FishAngler was busy helping different groups of kids who arrived to fish in their assigned time slot. The Pompano Beach resident has been there every year to assist the children since the inception of Jr. Anglers Day.
Zachary Pierre, 9, of Coconut Creek, enjoys catching some fish with his father Anthony at the Jr. Anglers Day in Deerfield Beach. (Emmett Hall / Contributor)
“It’s all about the kids and giving back to the community,” he said. “FishAngler is a global app, and we want to show the kids that fishing is what it’s all about. They can have fun with their families, and you can’t beat it. It’s the right time of year, the right kind of bait and everyone is catching fish. There is a lot of fish action going on with every kid catching something. This is such a great function.”
Blue runners, mangrove snappers, grunts, needlefish and Bermuda chub were all biting.
Toronto visitors Yianni and Theodora Dimas get in touch with one of their catches as it is presented to them by volunteer Raymond Cleary at the seventh annual Jr. Anglers Day. (Emmett Hall / Contributor)
“This is so enjoyable for me, and I got my start fishing on the pier just like all these kids,” Cleary said. “Not everyone can enjoy a $1,000 charter fishing experience with their families and that is why we put this affordable event together for all the kids.”
Some of the other main sponsors of Jr. Anglers Day were Custom Rod and Reel, Chaos, JM Family, Wydham, Tijuana Flats and Pelagic.
Deerfield Beach Mayor Bill Ganz, Broward Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ralph Hernandez, Sgt. Gloria Crespo and Stephanie Dana-Schmidt enjoy the Jr. Anglers Day festivities on the International Fishing Pier. (Emmett Hall / Contributor)
Jr. Anglers Day volunteer Abram Miller, 13, of Indialantic, shows off his angling skills with a double blue runners catch. (Emmett Hall / Contributor)
Fishing buddies RJ Lee and Colt Haig show off some of their catches with Mike Cleary of FishAngler lending a hand. (Emmett Hall / Contributor)
Volunteer Lorelei Bennett of FinSanity lends some assistance to siblings Stewart, 7, and Alina, 9, as mom Nini looks on. (Emmett Hall / Contributor)
Copyright © 2022, Sun Sentinel
Copyright © 2022, Sun Sentinel

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