More than 40 area youth got to try their hand at fishing Wednesday as part of the Tackle Boxes Not Xboxes fishing tournament aboard the New Florida Girl’s American Spirit sponsored by the Boathouse Oyster Bar.
Capt. Jim Green of the Spirit took 45 youth, ages 8-14, out for a six-hour fishing trip.
"It was an amazing day," said Amber Helton, events coordinator for the Boathouse.
For several of the youth it was their first time to go fishing.
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"We had beautiful seas, slightly overcast and the crew was so patient and beyond helpful," Helton said.
The fishing tournament gave the youth a chance to step away from their electronics for a few hours and spend time on the water.
"It was an awesome trip," said Capt. Green. "The kids did a great job and caught a lot of fish. It’s always good to get them out in the fresh air and doing something they enjoy."
And to make things interesting, they had a little contest for the biggest snapper, biggest mingo, biggest bonito, the smallest fish and the rarest fish.
Two of the young anglers each weighed in an 8.4-pound bonito.
The biggest red snapper weighed in at 10.2 pounds and the largest mingo at 2 pounds.
The smallest fish was a .6 pound strawberry grouper and the rarest was a juvenile cobia to small to keep.
"It was a fun little contest and a taste of competition," Helton said.
Cost for the trip was $60 and included a T-shirt, lunch and free swag.
Following the tournament, the Boathouse had a fish fry fundraiser for Children in Crisis.