Families Gather for 28th Kids' Fishing Derby

By Pat Brooks
Annual Event Courtesy of Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) -- Skidaway Island Chapter

The traditional CCA Kids' Fishing Derby, slated for the Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend, was met by unusually strong rains causing the event to be moved to the rain date of Sunday, May 28 in the afternoon. This was the first time CCA Skidaway Board members can recall that we’ve had to move the event in the 28-year Derby history. The afternoon fishing was not as brisk as the productive mornings usually are but it didn’t stop the participants and their friends and families from having a blast and making memories. The lagoon is stocked and prepped annually for this showcase event and even with the rain, this special fishing spot was able to shine.     

When the starting horn sounded at 3 p.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. This year, the 90 kids who participated caught and released a combined total of 151 bluegills. Several turtles joined in the action and also were returned unharmed. Interestingly, this was the first year in a long time with no bass being recorded. Typically, for about half of these youngsters it is their first-time fishing.  With help from our volunteer team of “Fishing Buddies” we had 70% of the participating anglers land at least one fish.   

At the end of the Derby, door prizes from Bass Pro Shops 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 working the bait and rod/reel stations.

This event would not be possible without our great sponsors who this year included: Landlovers, CBE Group (Ginna Carroll, Jill Brooks, Pat Ewaldsen) of The Landings Company, Southern Motors Honda, Hale Marine, The Omelette House, Bass Pro Shops, Southside Builders, Savannah Blinds, TLA, KIWANIS, Zebco, Synovus Bank, Friends of Leonard DaCamara, CCA, along with individual and Business Tax Deductible Donations. 

As always, this year’s Kids' Fishing Derby was 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 Derby to go fishing with your kids. The Kids' Fishing Lagoon (Lagoon #56 behind the Oakridge firehouse off Log Landing Road) is always open for Landing’s residents kids and kids of their accompanied guests. And, yes, it’s okay to fish along with your kids!

Special note: A photo album of the 2023 Derby can be found on the CCASkidaway.org webpage.  You can print the photos as well as save them by right clicking on the image and saving it to your pictures area of your computer. 

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 the Publix.

Below are the 2023 Kids Fishing Derby winners:

First Fish Landed (tie)

  • Madeline Morgan
  • Henry Bentley

3-5 Age Group        

Biggest Fish (tie) - (11 inches)      

  • Maggie Davis                                                
  • Azalia Slaughter

Most Fish - (Eight)

  • Emma Bentley

6-8 Age Group

Biggest Fish - (12 inches)    

  • Harris Lane

Most Fish -  (13)                   

  • Everson Bentley

9-11 Age Group

Biggest Fish - (11.5 inches)   

  • Owen Kelly

Most Fish (Eight)                     

  • Charlie Dees

12-15 Age Group

Biggest Fish - (11 inches)     

  • Ella Nixon   

Most Fish - (Six)                    

  • Sebastian Balmes



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

Visit landings.org to read the original article.