Hooked: Great Turnout for Philly Fun Fishing Fest

A young angler checks out her catch with a Fish Fest volunteer. Credit: Philadelphia Water
Ava Morales, winner of the "Most Succesful Angler" award in the Under 14 category, checks out her catch with a Fish Fest volunteer. She caught a total of nine fish, a number topped only by Leo Sheng, a professional fisherman and founder of the Extreme Philly Fishing YouTube channel. Sheng caught 39 fish. Photo credit: Philadelphia Water

A few clouds and some high water weren't enough to keep people from enjoying some fine Schuylkill River fishing on Saturday, and the Philly Fun Fishing Fest saw one of its biggest crowds ever during the 11th annual event.
Hosted by Philadelphia Water, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, the Pa. Fish and Boat Commission and Schuylkill Banks, the free fishing competition included 114 anglers this year.

The annual day of fishing showcases Schuylkill River recreational opportunities and water quality improvements while encouraging residents to develop a personal connection to this crucial drinking water source.
With free tackle and bait for use during the fest, not to mention a free pass on required licenses from the Fish and Boat Commission, the day is also a popular way for novices to give fishing a try.

But, looking at the final tally of fish, you wouldn't think this was an inexperienced crowd. In just four hours, Fish Fest participants recorded a whopping 234 catches! Species included channel catfish, white perch, blue gill sunfish, American eel and striped bass, with channel cats by far the most common catch. You can check out photos from Philly Fun Fishing Fest by clicking here.

Bob's Bait and Tackle on Ridge Avenue in East Falls donated a new rod and reel combo as the grand prize for the raffle drawing.

Fishing prizes, donated by sponsors Dick's Sporting Goods and Plano Tackle, were awarded in 16 categories:

Category Winner Prizes
Last Fish Caught Jalieha Lyles Take Me Fishing Tackle Box donated by Plano Tackle
First Fish Caught Lynell Robinson Take Me Fishing Tackle Box donated by Plano Tackle
Smallest Fish Caught Emre Olceroglu (4" White Perch) Runner up: Eric Mondelli Take Me Fishing Tackle Box donated by Plano Tackle
Youngest Participant  Ayden Chomper Tackle Box and Dick's Sporting Goods Gift Certificate  
Third Largest Fish (Adult) Jamie Lafferty JR (21.5" Catfish)    Take Me Fishing Tackle Box from Plano and Dick's Sporting Goods Gift Certificate 
Third Largest Fish (14 & Under)  Jon Conway (17" Catfish)  Take Me Fishing Tackle Box from Plano Tackle and Dick's Sporting Goods Gift Certificate 
Second Largest Fish (Senior)  George Cooper (19.75" Catfish)  Rod and Reel, Dick's Sporting Goods Gift Certificate 
Second Largest Fish  (Adult)   Fran Murray (22.25" Catfish)  Rod and Reel, Dick's Sporting Goods Gift Certificate 
Second Largest Fish  (14 & Under) Jason Miller (21in Catfish) Rod and Reel, Dick's Sporting Goods Gift Certificate    
Most Successful Angler (Senior)  Jamie Lafferty SR (8 fish) Take Me Fishing Tackle Box from Plano Tackle, Rod and Reel, Dick's Sporting Goods Gift Certificate
Most Successful Angler (Adult) Leo Sheng (39 fish) Runner-up: Emre Olceroglu Take Me Fishing Tackle Box from Plano Tackle, Rod and Reel, Dick's Sporting Goods Gift Certificate   
Most Successful Angler (14 & Under)  Ava Morales (9 fish) Take Me Fishing Tackle Box from Plano Tackle, Rod and Reel, Dick's Sporting Goods Gift Certificate  
Largest Fish (Senior)  James Preston (20.75in Catfish) Spiderwire Tackle Box, Dick's Sporting Goods Gift Certificate
Largest Fish (Adult) John McCann (22.50" Catfish)  Spiderwire Tackle Box, Dick's Sporting Goods Gift Certificate 
Largest Fish (14 & Under)  Marcus Morales (22.25" Catfish)  Spiderwire Tackle Box, Dick's Sporting Goods Gift Certificate