Nine-year old Sara Deason recently won the overall title in Kent County in the 2008 Division of Fish and Wildlife's Annual Youth Fishing Tournament. The young angler caught 42 fish, at a total weight of 7.35 pounds.
The first time Harrington native Sara Deason went fishing she was only 48 hours old.
At that age, of course, she only was along for the ride, sitting on the back of the boat as her father, David, took her out.
Sara obviously does not remember that trip, but when it comes to fishing, she knows she’s been at it for a while now.
“I’m not sure how long I’ve been fishing,” she said. “I think since I was like two days old was when I went the first time.”
The initial trip must have triggered something in her brain, because Sara, now 9 years old, is one heck of an angler.
Sara was the overall winner for Kent County of the 2008 Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Annual Youth Fishing Tournament, held June 7 at Wyoming Pond.
The tournament, which was established in 1986, is, according to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), “designed to introduce youth to the sport of fishing and to teach the catch and release approach to conservation.”
She was able to catch 42 fish at a total of 7.35 pounds, and came in second in the state behind only Michael Moore, 14, of Middletown, who caught 14.5 pounds in the New Castle County tournament, held at Lums Pond.
Two years ago, when Sara was 7 years old, she fished in the same tournament and was the winner in her age group, so coming out on top is nothing new to her.
However, she said it never even occurred to her that being Kent County’s best of the best was a possibility when she entered this year’s competition.
“I never expected I’d be the overall winner,” Sara said. “I was really excited and surprised.”
The title did not come easy for the young fisher, however. David said as the competition wore on the weather began to take a toll on his daughter and he was unsure if she was going to finish.
“There was about 40 minutes of fishing left and she was starting to get really hot,” he said. “She took her hat off and told me the heat was taking it out of her.”
David then laid out the options to Sara on what she could do, and assumed she would go with taking the boat in, stopping fishing and cooling off.
“I told her, ‘We can do several things here: we can pour water on your head to try and cool you off, or we can go up in the shade and just stop fishing,’” he said. “Well she is one tough kid, because she said, ‘Just pour water on my head Dad. I want to keep fishing.’”
Of course, she went on to win the tournament, and was presented that day with a new fishing pole, a tackle box and a trophy.
DNREC then honored Sara during an awards ceremony at the Delaware State Fair, presenting her with another trophy, a certificate, a new life jacket and a bag of cookies.
With an overall title under her belt now, her next step is to be the overall winner in the state, but still just enjoys fishing for the fun of it.
“I want to fish all my life,” Sara said. “It is so fun, and my favorite part is when I get to catch the fish.”
Email Brian Citino at firstname.lastname@example.org