Punta Gorda Elks Lodge #2606 held its annual kids’ fishing tournament June 11 on the fishing pier at the lodge. More than 75 children and their parents attended the event, which was open to the public. Trophies were awarded for the categories of smallest fish, largest fish, ugliest fish and most fish caught. Each child was given a rod, reel and backpack to keep, which were purchased from monetary donations received from Creative Carbide Inc., Aladdin Air, Integrity Employee Leasing, the Punta Gorda Elkettes and some lodge members. Other donations were received as well, including ball caps, aprons for volunteers, backpacks, trophies and booklets from the Punta Gorda Elkettes, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Athleta, Gulf Coast Engraving and the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Department. Forty lodge volunteers were on hand to cut bait, untangle lines and release fish. Afterward, everyone was served lunch provided by the lodge.
Pictured are fishing rods lined up for the participants and the participants walking out on the pier to find their special spot. Also pictured is Tom Shoecraft Sr., Exalted Ruler, presenting a trophy to Cohen Shoecraft, winner of the largest fish caught in the ages 6-10 category. In the background on the microphone is Michelle Staples, lodge member and the lodge corporation manager, and Linda Troemel, lodge member, cabin manager and assistant to the lodge corporation manager.