We got back from our annual pilgrimage to Destin, Florida on Sunday and even though I was exhausted it was a great trip, I think our best one yet.
This was the third year that the “Larry Hatchett Fishing Foundation” has invited children from my facility to participate in their annual fishing trip. They brought us down on Thursday the 9th and arranged for us, as well as over 130 other kids from residential facilities and foster homes from all over the south, to stay at a very nice resort right on the beach. We were able to spend Friday on the beach swimming in the gulf and watching the dolphins swimming just off shore. That alone was a great sight. I got into a little bit of trouble with the lifeguard, when I swam out on my boogie board to get a closer look. My wife was sure to point out after we got back that I was the only kid to get in trouble the whole weekend.
We went fishing on Saturday, and even though the seas were so rough that about half the boat lost their breakfast, snack and lunch over the rail, myself, my wife, one other staff member, and 7 of our kids included, the fishing was great. In fact two of our kids caught fish big enough make it onto the leader board.
A nine year old from another cottage caught a 7 pound Triggerfish, and is in first place for the junior category (12 and under). The rodeo runs until the end of October but he has a very good chance of holding that top spot, because since 2000 there has only been one other trigger fish that was larger in his division. It was a 7.4 pound fish caught in 2005. All the other fish were under 6 pounds.
My daughter Rebecca is the big story from the weekend. She caught a 10.4 pound Triggerfish and is in first place in the Open Division. Her fish is the largest Trigger that has been entered in the Rodeo since at least 2000. They have results posted on their website since then.
Captain Jim Westbrook, of the “New Florida Girl” fishing Boat says that it is the biggest Trigger he has seen in the 20 years he has been fishing out of Destin.
On top of the big fish that were caught, there were a bunch of fish caught by all the children that were there. Enough that we had a huge fish fry Saturday evening, and nobody left hungry!!!
I would like to publicly thank all the volunteers of the “Larry Hatchett Fishing Foundation”, Captain Jim and all the hands on the “New Florida Girl”, and all the sponsors that help make this event possible so that kids, that probably would otherwise never get this opportunity, can experience one of the most memorable times of their life.
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