Youth Shine at 38th Annual Delaware Fishing Tournament

Youth Fishing TournamentDozens of young anglers gathered at Lums Pond for a group photo at the annual Youth Fishing Tournament June 1. /Submitted Image, Photo by DNREC

DOVER, DE — More than 300 young anglers gathered on June 1 for the 38th annual Youth Fishing Tournament, hosted by the Delaware Natural Resources Police. On a perfect early summer day, participants cast their lines at Ingrams Pond in Sussex County, Akridge Scout Reservation in Kent County, and Lums Pond in New Castle County.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced the winners, including this year’s overall champion, Brody Spencer from Dagsboro. Spencer, age 12, repeated his triumph from last year by catching 5.71 pounds of fish at Ingrams Pond.

Winners from each county will receive their trophies at a special ceremony on Governor’s Day at the 2024 Delaware State Fair in Harrington. The tournament aims to introduce youth to fishing and promote catch-and-release conservation practices.

New Castle County Winners

At Lums Pond, Brice Wise emerged as the overall winner with a total catch of 3.31 pounds. Elena Pihouee caught the largest fish, a 2.2-pound largemouth bass, while McKenzie VanSant landed the smallest, a 4-gram pumpkinseed.

Ages 4 through 7:
  • First place – Lillian Welch, 2.66 pounds
  • Second place – Caroline Jordan, 0.88 pounds
  • Third place – Jayson Troy, 0.80 pounds
Ages 8 through 11:
  • First place – Michael Hopkins, 2.94 pounds
  • Second place – Elena Pihouee, 2.65 pounds
  • Third place – LaRelle Williams Jr., 1.61 pounds
Ages 12 through 15:
  • First place – Aiden Kulac, 3.05 pounds
  • Second place – Alyssa Danz, 2.46 pounds
  • Third place – Tyler Harvell, 2.25 pounds
Kent County Winners

Thomas Sweeney-Jones took the top spot at Akridge Scout Reservation with a catch of 2.98 pounds. Beau Lindale caught the largest fish, a 1.7-pound largemouth bass, and Jocelyn Spear caught the smallest, an 11-gram bluegill.

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Ages 4 through 7:
  • First place – Beau Lindale, 2.84 pounds
  • Second place – Catalaya Andrews, 2.21 pounds
  • Third place – Greysen Figgs, 1.66 pounds
Ages 8 through 11:
  • First place – Collin Meisinger, 1.83 pounds
  • Second place – Gabriel Velazquez, 0.87 pounds
  • Third place – Windsor Stone, 0.67 pounds
Ages 12 through 15:
  • First place – Gianna Velazquez, 2.28 pounds
  • Second place – Dalton White, 1.79 pounds
  • Third place – John “JC” Kubovcik, 1.41 pounds
Sussex County Winners

Brody Spencer dominated at Ingrams Pond with a total of 5.71 pounds of fish. Jack Wertz caught the largest fish, a 1.1-pound catfish, while Tristan Whitt and Jilian Columna tied for the smallest fish, each landing a 15-gram bluegill.

Ages 4 through 7:
  • First place – Piper Vannicol, 3.10 pounds
  • Second place – Tristen Wertz, 2.21 pounds
  • Third place – Tristan Whitt, 1.55 pounds
Ages 8 through 11:
  • First place – Kaden Elliot, 2.47 pounds
  • Second place – Caden Timmons, 1.31 pounds
  • Third place – Wesley Whitt, 0.63 pounds
Ages 12 through 15:
  • First place – Cameron Garufi, 2.13 pounds
  • Second place – Jack Wertz, 2.10 pounds
  • Third place – Jerry Kemp, 1.69 pounds

The Delaware Youth Fishing Tournament continues to foster a love for fishing and environmental stewardship among young people. This year’s event highlighted the skill and enthusiasm of Delaware’s youth, ensuring a bright future for the sport and conservation efforts.

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