Published: Oct 26, 2010

GOLETA PIER Young Angler Tournament a hit

GOLETA PIER Young Angler Tournament a hit


BY KEN JONES/Special to Western Outdoor News

GOLETA — The First Annual UPSAC-IGFA Goleta Pier Youth Angler Tournament was held on Oct. 16 at the  Goleta Beach County Park and Pier in Santa Barbara County, surroundings both first class and family friendly.

Although the weather was overcast and drizzly, and the fishing was only so-so, spending a few hours on an old wooden pier over the Pacific is always fun. Dropping a fishing line into the Pacific Ocean, in kelp-filled water near mussel-encrusted pilings, and wondering what kind of fish might grab the bait was an instant attraction enjoyed by the 47 youngsters from ages 6 to 14. The chance to win a prize, and, for some, the chance to earn a Cub Scout “fishing” badge were additional incentives to ensure enthusiasm.
The participants were local youth, which included a large contingency of Cub Scouts from the Los Padres Council of BSA, along with forty-two parents, and 14 enthusiastic volunteers from United Pier and Shore Anglers of California. Representing UPSAC was President Ken Jones, Vice President Robert Gardner, Treasurer James Liu, Secretary Brian Linebarger, and Board members Hashem Nahid, Eugene Kim and Boyd Grant (also manager of the Goleta Pier Angler Center). Representing Santa Barbara County was Supervisor Janet Wolf and County Parks Deputy Director Erik Axelson. Representing NOAA and their Ethical Angler Program was Marty Golden. Representing West Marine was Ben Eggli. Representing the Oceanside Bait & Tackle shop was Pam and Ed Gonsalves.
The sponsors were United Pier and Shore Anglers of California (UPSAC), the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), and NOAA (and its Ethical Angling Program).

After introductions, and a short presentation on Ethical Angling by Marty Golden, the youngsters fished for three hours. Following the fishing, Supervisor Wolf helped present the raffle prizes with each participant receiving a prize. Companies that contributed gifts included the Channel Islands Sportfishing (Oxnard), Stardust Sportfishing (Santa Barbara), Beachside Café (Goleta), West Marine (Santa Barbara), The Tidepool (Cayucos), Fish Taco Chronicles magazine, Pacific Coast Sportfishing magazine and NOAA.  

Many of the youngsters brought their own rods and reels, but loaner outfits were provided by IGFA for those without tackle. Free bait and terminal tackle was provided for all participants by UPSAC. Both organizations supplied lunch. Saturday morning the UPSAC crew split into groups, some cutting bait, some rigging the rods and reels, and some prepping the food for lunch. Later lunch was served while the prizes were divided up awaiting the presentation at the unique Goleta Pier Angler Center (the only such center on California’s 100+ public piers).

Next the age division winners were announced with results based upon the fish caught. Each winner won a rod and reel, a copy of Pier Fishing in California, and an impressive certificate from IGFA. The winners were:  Six Year Old —Conner Acuna; Seven Year Old—Ethan Bresk; Eight Year—Nikolas Valenti; Nine Year Old—a tie—Andrew Bresk and Nicholas Colaneri; Ten Year Old—Ian Taver; Thirteen Year Old—Josh Acuna; Fourteen Year Old—Duncan Stewart.  
Last but not least were the “Goody Bags” containing a variety of smaller prizes. The youngsters and parents alike were amazed at the number of gifts presented. Everyone agreed that the tournament was a success and the organizers vowed that next year the tournament will be even bigger and better.

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