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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, August 16, 2022


Aug. 6, 2001 – Shouts of "eeeee – I got 'em", smiles stretching miles and a whopperfuls of laughter filled the air at the American Yacht Harbor docks Sunday for the 11th annual Innovative Wireless Handline Tournament. "This event is special to us. We're always happy to help the young anglers of St. Thomas," said Victoria Squires, sales and marketing manager for Innovative Wireless.
Equipped with hook-rigged handlines and squid, over 120 boys and girls age 16 and under found their special spot along the docks and started casting. "We read about the event in the newspaper and decided to come," said Larry Lumpkins, visiting with his wife Sue and children 14-year-old Allison, 11-year-old Stephen and 8-year-old Adam from Redwood City, California. "It's pretty fun, but I haven't caught anything yet," Stephen said, as he stared intently down at his line in the water.
Within minutes of the event beginning, the first successful anglers were running up to staff members from the Department of Planning and Natural Resources' Fish & Wildlife Office to have their fish weighed and identified. "Look, I got a puffer fish," said 6-year-old Jonathan Burton, grabbing his fish from a plastic Easter basket filled with seawater. Then it was back down to the dock again for another lucky try. Stout pufferfish, hefty barracuda and colorful snapper were among the catch, often times pulled out of the water by angers so junior that they wore their tournament T-shirts like long dresses.
After two hours of fishing, and lots of catching, it was time to tally the winners. "I got a big fish," said 6- year-old Bianca Sibilly, who pulled in a foot long barracuda with the help of her older brother. "It ate my sister's hook, then it got mine," she explained. Sibilly's fish earned her top prizes for total weight of fish and largest fish in the 10 and under age category.
A dozen prizes were awarded to participating anglers, ranging from bicycles to helicopter rides and day sails, while free pizza and drinks demonstrated the community support for this favorite annual event.
The Innovative Wireless Handline Tournament is an event within an event at the USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament.
10 and Under
Most Weight – Bianca Sibilly
Second Most Weight – Jonathan Turbe
Third Most Weight – Chase Palm
Largest Fish – Bianca Sibilly
11 and Over
Most Weight – Peter Turbe
Second Most Weight – Chrisnel Charles
Third Most Weight – Johnson Gaspard
Largest Fish – Amiecja Williams
All Ages
Smallest Fish – Chase Palm
Ugliest Fish – Dennis Fuentes
Funniest Fish – Nicole Considine
Hard Luck – Kevin Crals
Youngest Angler – Aliyeah Canton and Nicholas Broome

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