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Matlacha Hookers Fishing Tournament & Derby to benefit island’s school

November 1, 2017
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

The Matlacha Hookers will hold its 19th annual Pine Island Elementary School Fishing Tournament & Derby Sunday, Nov. 5, at the Olde Fish House Marina & Restaurant. All proceeds will benefit Pine Island Elementary School.

Madam President Julia Simpson invites every Pine Island resident to join the fun.

"We are planning lots of games for the kids and drawings and other things as well as free lunch for the kids," Simpson said. "Six bicycles with helmets will be raffled off to the children that participate - three girls bikes and three boys bikes, and once again there is a tournament T-shirt for the kids to paint."

Article Photos

Addison Denty with a fish at last year’s event.

Each registered child will receive a new rod and reel that they can keep, free lunch and a shirt. Children fish in the derby according to their school grade:

Sharks Grades 4 and 5 fish from 9:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m.

Pinfish Grades 2 and 3 fish from 10:45 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.

Shrimp Grades K and 1st fish from 12:15 p.m. until 1:15 p.m.

"Any child enrolled in elementary school can fish in the derby," Simpson said. "To sponsor a student attending PIE, a donation of $30 is requested. To sponsor a student attending a different elementary school, a donation of $35 is requested."

All registered fishermen are eligible for cash prizes of up to $2,500 - $500 cash prizes for the

heaviest legal snook, trout and redfish and $1,000 cash prize for the heaviest legal slam.

Registered fishermen also receive a shirt, fish fry and goody bag.

The music for the tournament was arranged by Molly Brown.

"The day will be kicked off with Victoria Hagan," Brown said. "Tori is 14 years old and went to Pine Island Elementary. She will be singing the national anthem. Tori is active in state choir and the twin team at North Fort Myers High School. When she was a 3rd grader at PIE, she won the art competition for the Matlacha-Hookers.

"Our famous Fish Fry starts at 2 p.m.," Simpson said. "We'll have 50/50s, a silent auction featuring thousands of dollars' worth of items to bid on and a Chinese auction featuring dozens of baskets and a special children's raffle table."

The Captains Meeting is Saturday, Nov. 4, at 6 p.m., at Olde Fish House in Matlacha. Tournament fishermen (and women!) can pre-register at or anytime from noon until 6 p.m. on Nov. 4. Registration is $60 per person, with a maximum of four per boat. Tournament fishing begins at 7 a.m. and weigh in at 3 p.m.

The 2017 PIE Derby Co-Chairs are DJ Ruscik, Toni Trivelli and Kate Swanstrom. All proceeds of this event will be used to provide educational tools, books, supplies and future scholarships for the benefit of Pine Island Elementary students and teachers.



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