Snapper contest a nice day out: Who won?

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KEYPORT – Kids from toddler to teenager flocked to Waterfront Park on Saturday to try their luck in the borough’s annual snapper fishing contest.

Approximately 150 kids registered for the chance to catch the biggest baby blue fish, according to Borough Council President Joe Sheridan, who is the council’s liaison to the Keyport Harbor Commission, which ran the contest.

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In the one to five year old age group: 1st place – Ashley Fernandes, 3, with a 6 1/2″ fish. 2nd place – Colton Heilesen, 4, of Keyport, 6 1/4″ fish. 3rd place – Rocco Macchio, 4, of Middletown, 5 1/2″ fish.(l-r): Colton Heilesen, Ashley Fernandes, Rocco Macchio. Photo: Kim Predham/For the Anchor

The contest encourages kids to fish and, Sheridan noted, they somehow never fail to get good weather the day of the competition.

“It’s just a nice day out,” said Sheridan.

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In the six to 10 year old age group: 1st place – Nick D’Angelo, 10, of Lyndhurst, 7 1/4″ inch fish. Tied for 2nd place – Gabrielle Argentino, 9, of Keyport, and Tyler Fernandes, 10, both 7″ fishes. (l-r): Gabrielle Argentino, Nick D’Angelo, Tyler Fernandes. Photo: Kim Predham/For the Anchor

In order to win, fish had to still be alive when they were measured during a two hour window from 10 a.m. to noon. They should have been caught by the registered child. Winners were determined by the length of the fish.

Prizes were awarded to the top three winners in three age groups: one to five years old, six to 10 years old and 11 to 15 years old.

Each child also received a hot dog and soda, courtesy of American Legion Post 23.

Most of the fish caught were, appropriately, snapper, said Sheridan. One puffer fish was also snared, and, he said, “I believe we caught one unlucky turtle.”

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In the 11 to 15 year old age group: 1st place – Luke Liguori, 13, of Matawan, 8 3/4″ fish. 2nd place – Rhiannon Kasper, 12, of East Brunswick, 7″ fish. 3rd place – Ryan Kasper, 11, of East Brunswick, 6 3/4″ fish. (l-r): Luke Liguori, Rhiannon Kasper, Ryan Kasper. Photo: Kim Predham/For the Anchor