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Art Hansen Fishing Contest returns

Gabriel Vitak, 6, of Snow Hill, concentrates during Art Hansen Memorial Youth Fishing Contest hosted at the South Gate Pond by the Ocean Pines Anglers Club in Ocean Pines on Saturday, July 22.

By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer

(July 19, 2018) The Ocean Pines Anglers Club will host the 22nd annual Art Hansen Memorial Youth Fishing Contest at the Ocean Pines South Gate Pond near the Sports Core Pool, on Saturday, July 21.

Participants will compete in three age categories: 4-7, 8-11 and 12-16. There is no cost to participate.

“The Anglers Club is a group of local fishermen and part of their enjoyment is fishing with their kids and grandkids, and so forth,” Ocean Pines Anglers Club member Walt Boge said. “A number of years ago, about 22 years ago now, one of the founders decided we ought to have a kid’s fishing contest and have their families participate.”

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the contest will run from 9-10:30 a.m. Bait and water will be provided by the Anglers Club.

The young anglers who catch the largest fish in each division will receive a trophy. In addition, the three participants who reel in the most fish in each division will take home a prize as well.

Eight or nine judges will be on hand to record how big each catch is and the species.

“We normally get anywhere between 70 and 90 kids coming,” Boge said. “We anticipate anywhere up to 100 kids.”

Competitors should bring their own rod and reel, as well as sunscreen. The Anglers Club will have a limited number of rods and reels available for those who do not have their own.

“This year, in addition to [the participation prizes will be] a drawing for another two prizes,” Boge said. “Not every kid will get it, but the winner from the drawing will get a fishing trip on a boat called the Angler and go out fishing, and a [new] rod and reel.”

Every child that participates in the contest will receive a prize compliments of the Ocean City/Berlin Optimist Club and the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association.

“The Optimist Club is a club that puts on the boat shows in February in Ocean City,” Boge said. “They are a charitable club, they give money away to support children’s events. They provide some money to us every year to pay for some of the expenses for putting on the kids’ event.”

Last year, 80 youth participated in the contest.

The Anglers Club hosts two different events for youth. In June, the group taught over 60 children how to fish and identify the different species in the pond, tie knots and use bait.

For more information, contact Boge at 410-208-2855.