Reelin’ It In At The Snapper Derby

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More than 100 fish were caught at the annual Snapper Derby.

More than 100 parents and children lined the Town of North Hempstead Dock on Aug. 26 to participate in the Manhasset Bay Sportsmen’s Club (MBSC) annual Richard Peneski Sr. Snapper Derby, a fishing contest for boys and girls under 16 years of age. With bait and tackle provided by Duffy’s Bait and Tackle located in Glenwood Landing, free water and soda and Snapdog hot dogs provided by Port Washington’s own Keith Dorman, kids enjoyed three hours of fishing with free goodies from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“It’s a great turnout,” said MBSC’s Skip Campbell. “It’s great weather. The kids are just so happy and ready to fish. It’s all about the kids.”

Frank Pellegrito caught the first fish by a boy while Ella Halufska caught the first fish by a girl, earning them both brand new fishing poles. Throughout the morning, a total of 198 snappers were caught by all of the children. Having been at the Town Dock since 9 a.m., Michael Bellini caught the most fish by a boy at 22 fish. Abby Agulles caught the most fish by a girl with seven fish.

“Once we’re done giving the prizes to the first and the most, we give people raffle tickets, so everybody gets a prize,” explained Campbell. “We have a lot of prizes. We have one main prize donated from Long Island Boat Rentals. It’s a three-hour boat rental.”

Lisa Fielding held the first winning raffle ticket, earning her family the three-hour boat rental. As numbers were called and prizes began to disappear from the table, Campbell kept his promise that everyone would get a prize by giving out MBSC reusable water bottles to every child that walked off the town dock.

MBSC has sponsored more than 100 town dock fishing contests for boys and girls, which includes late summer Snapper Derbies and Spring Fishing Derbies. More than 15,000 youngsters have competed, cheered on by tens of thousands of parents and grandparents. The club sponsors these derbies as part of its program to encourage sport-fishing and teach good sportsmanship, conservation and to promote the general welfare of the Manhasset Bay community.

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Christina Claus is a reporter for Anton Media Group and a regular contributor to Long Island Weekly and Anton's magazines.

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