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Fishing tourney offers family time for children, parents (w/video)

By Elena Watts
May 24, 2014 at 12:24 a.m.

Heather Fahrni, 35, of Port Lavaca, fishes from the pier with her daughter, Elanah Sanchez, 8, at the Memorial Day Kids Fishing Tournament in Port O'Connor.

Winners

Ages 3 to 5

• Riley Pagel, of Port O'Connor - biggest fish

• Marshall Plummer, of Kerrville - smallest fish

• Holden Spears, of Victoria - most fish

Ages 6 to 8

Gilbert Martinez, of Seguin - biggest fish

• Sarah Vance, of Montgomery - smallest fish

• Ellie Plummer, of Kerrville - most fish

• Ages 9 to 12

• Ethan Weischwill, of Yorktown - biggest fish

• James Mayes III, of Houston - smallest fish

Evan Clifton, of Port O'Connor - most fish

PORT O'CONNOR - Elanah Sanchez, 8, of Port Lavaca, sat on her mother's lap on the fishing pier that extends from King Fisher Beach over Matagorda Bay.

She held her fishing pole with a watchful eye on her line as it bobbed in the bay at the Memorial Day Kids Fishing Tournament.

"It gets families together," said Mary Jo Walker, president of the Port O'Connor Chamber of Commerce.

More than 60 children participated in the tournament this year. The chamber has sponsored the event for more than 20 years, Walker said. The organization provides the bait and the trophies.

"I want to catch two kinds of fish: a goldfish and a clown fish," Elanah said. "Oh, and a flying fish, so it will leap out of the water and fly."

Her mother, Heather Fahrni, 35, and her friend, Thomas Cox, 34, packed the car with fishing poles and kites and cruised to Port O'Connor for an economical day of fun. The kite-flying contest began at 1 p.m. on the beach.

"Your children plan your day; you don't plan theirs," Fahrni said. "We fish early in the morning and walk by the barbecue on the way to fly kites."

Jeanene and Russell Pagel, of Port O'Connor, also helped their daughter, Riley Pagel, 3, fish in the tournament.

Riley caught two redfish from the north end of the beach, said her father.

She won a trophy for the biggest fish, which was 20.5 inches, in the age 3 to 5 category.

"We got to know all of the others fishing around us," said Jeanene Pagel. "They were all family-oriented like us."

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