Porgies, Bass, and Eighth-Graders, Oh My!

Porgies, Bass, and Eighth-Graders, Oh My!

New London Fall Fishing Tournament

Although the weather is getting chilly and school is in full swing, that doesn’t stop NESS from doing our thing! On Thursday, September 27th, NESS partnered with New London community volunteers to host a fall fishing tournament for eighth grade Leadership students from Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School. The weather was perfect as students fished off the docks of City Pier into the Thames River for the catch and release tournament.

With the help of AmeriCorps members, NESS New London staff, community volunteers, Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock, Diane’s Bait, Tackle and Charters, New London Police Department, and Bennie Dover staff, hooks were baited and students were taught how to cast and reel. The students took turns in groups of three fishing off the pier and the floating docks. With the large number of volunteers who came to support the event, every group was able to receive individualized attention and coaching. Every five minutes, you could hear, “Fish on!!”, “Fish over here!”, or “I got one!”! It was so exciting to see the students, some who had never even tried fishing before, catch some great fish. Porgies and black sea bass seemed to be popular catches of the day, ranging from just about 3 inches to over a foot! As students reeled em’ in, Kelley Dupree, NESS Director of New London Programs, measured the fish as the anglers anxiously awaited to see if they had broken the record for biggest and smallest catch of the day.

The energy throughout the event was high and even students who weren’t having any luck seemed to catch excitement through watching their peers’ success. At the end of the tournament, prizes (graciously donated by Diane’s Bait & Tackle and Captain Scott’s) were awarded to students for the most fish caught, biggest, and smallest fish of the day. The students who won “most caught” and “biggest fish” even got to take home their very own rod! It was amazing to see the comradery between the students as the crowd cheered on their classmates who had placed in the tournament. Thank you so much to all our volunteers, we couldn’t have done it without you! Be sure to check out pictures of all the fun on social media!