Families Gather for 25th Kids’ Fishing Derby

By Doug Painter and Pat Brooks
CCA Skidaway Chapter

Saturday, October 16 dawned a beautiful day at The Landings on Skidaway Island and, as usual, many residents headed out to play a round of golf or get in an active match of tennis or Pickleball. Other residents, namely 45 youngsters along with their families, chose a different outdoor experience by participating in the 25th CCA Kids’ Fishing Derby, looking to catch bluegill and bass in a lagoon specially reserved and stocked to provide for a fun and rewarding fishing experience for kids.

When the starting horn sounded at 9 a.m., a flurry of worms and crickets went flying through the air as the kids cast their lines, hoping to catch the “big one” or, for many of these young anglers, their first fish ever. For about half of these youngsters, it was their first time fishing. With help from our volunteer team of Fishing Buddies, every angler caught at least one fish. In total, there were 394 bluegills and one bass landed during the Derby. The largest fish of the day was 12” landed by Eliana Beckman, with many others catching 10 and 11-inch bluegills. A special “high five” is well deserved by 12-year-old Matthew Heddleson, who reeled in 30 fish!

At the end of the morning, door prizes from Bass Pro Shops and McDonald’s were handed out as well as rod-and-reel combos to winning anglers in the various age categories. More than 30 local CCA volunteers were on hand serving as Derby helpers, referees, and operators of the bait and rod/reel stations. A special thanks to the volunteer First Responders who were at the pond throughout the Derby.

This event would not be possible without our great sponsors who this year included CBE Group (Ginna Carroll, Jill Brooks, Pat Ewaldsen) of The Landings Company, Southern Motors Honda, Hale Marine, Johnny Moran State Farm, The Omelette House, Bass Pro Shops, Paderewski Construction, Synovus Bank, Landlovers, The Landings Association, Kiwanis, Zebco, and Friends of Leonard DaCamara.

As always, this year’s Kids’ Fishing Derby was a morning full of smiles and laughs and, most of all, great family memories of time spent together outdoors. The good news is you don’t need to wait for next year’s event to go fishing with your kids. The Kids’ Fishing Lagoon (lagoon #56 located behind the Oakridge firehouse off Log Landing Road) is always open for Landing’s residents and their accompanied guests. And, yes, it’s okay to fish along with your kids!

Thanks to The Landings Association’s (TLA) support and the efforts of several photographers, you can experience “Derby Happenings” and print out pictures of your choice by going to www.landings.org/Resources. Then select the Photo Gallery Tab on the right to view the 2021 photos. You can print the photos as well as save them by right-clicking on the image and saving it to the pictures area of your computer. If you want a higher resolution copy of a photo, please email Security Office Manager and TLA Staff Photographer Erica L. Kersey (ericak@landing.org). Please include the photographer gallery as well as the file name. CCA is a national organization that serves as the voice for the recreational angler. Locally, the Skidaway Island Chapter has informative meetings open to the public at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, across from Publix in The Village.

Below are the 2021 Kids’ Fishing Derby winners:

  • First Fish Landed - Everette Tanner  
  • Biggest Fish Caught All Day (tie) - Branon Parsons, Cole Wilson, Benjamin Green, Zion Polite, and Julie Lane (11-inch fish)

Ages Three-to-Five

  • Biggest Fish - Amelia White (11.5 inches)               
  • Most Fish - Harris Lane (22 fish)

Ages Six-to-Eight

  • Biggest Fish - Andrew Martin (10.5 inches)
  • Most Fish - Caroline Growe (17 fish)

Ages Nine-to-11

  • Biggest Fish - Eliana Beckman (12 inches)
  • Most Fish - Cayden Hoover (28 fish)

Ages 12-15

  • Biggest Fish - Kerrington Humphreys (10.5 inches)
  • Most Fish - Matthew Heddleson (30 fish)


Photos By Mike Welsh

This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

Visit landings.org to read the original article.