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Poco Bueno more than just tournament for community

By chirst
July 22, 2012 at 2:22 a.m.
Updated July 23, 2012 at 2:23 a.m.

The second marlin of Poco Bueno, which weighed in at 446.5 pounds and 104 inches, came in two minutes before Friday's midnight cutoff time. It took third place in the event.

PORT O'CONNOR - The Poco Bueno Fishing Tournament is about more than just bringing in and seeing the big fish.

Many of the people are there to celebrate family, see friends or even raise money.

Mark Daigle, Calhoun County Sheriff's Office chief deputy, has worked the weigh station at the tournament for 10 years. He said the event is about tradition.

His 18-year-old son, Logan, has worked the weigh station with him for the past six years.

There was a possibility of the event moving to a private community, Mark Daigle said, but that idea was discarded because of how vital the event is to Port O'Connor.

"The Fondrens wanted to be more in tune with the community and see how they can benefit the community," he said.

For example, they have the Port O'Connor Volunteer Fire Department come in as a food vendor to raise money and take donations.

"It is very important because they help us out," Sylvia Martinez, fire department secretary treasurer, said. "They give us donations and they bring in the people who give us donations as well."

Stetson Roane, director of special programs at Aransas Pass school district, has watched the tournament from his boat for the past nine years.

"We get to celebrate the good times, share stories and enjoy the whole environment of Poco," he said, as he and his friends barbecued shrimp on his boat, docked next to the weigh-in station.

He said Poco Bueno is important for the community.

"As an educator, one of the things I love to see with the kids here is it is good clean fun ... it is an outdoor activity they can all afford," he said.

Whatever their reason for attending the tournament, the thousands who flock to Port O'Connor each year have already started planning their return.

Hotels in the area are already taking reservations, RV stations have already leased spots and the crowd is ready to wait, again, for the next big fish.

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