Rock Hall fire company benefits from anglers’ generosity

ROCK HALL — Charter boat captains and anglers stepped up again this year to support the Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company with their participation in the Guardian of the Pearl rockfish tournament Saturday and Sunday, June 8-9.

A total of 19 boats with 114 anglers registered and participated on Saturday and 16 boats with 95 anglers registered and participated on Sunday.

There also were 15 youth anglers.

While the final count is pending, it appears that this year’s haul is pretty much in line with what the inaugural tournament in 2022 and last year’s tournament brought in, according to a news release.

About $46,500 in sponsorships was raised, in addition to $19,600 in registration fees. 

All the money raised in youth sponsorships ($7,650) goes to the prizes for this division.

Noting that the Guardian of the Pearl is one of the RHVFC’s biggest fundraisers, fire company President Andy Glenn said, “The support from the community, captains and participants is amazing.  … We are very grateful.”

In the past, proceeds have been used to purchase lifesaving
equipment, outfitting firefighters with up-to-date safety gear and financing building maintenance projects.

Stephanie Price, fishing tournament committee chair, added, “Despite challenges in the economy and the changes in the fishery regulations, the tournament was extremely successful. The anglers had two great days of fishing for a great cause.”

Prizes were awarded for the top three catches in the youth division and what was called the “regular” division on Sunday afternoon, June 9 at the bulkhead.

Youth, 15 and younger

First: Capt. Lenny Fletcher and angler James Skaggs Jr., 5 pounds; $3,825 and a custom-made rockfish from Greg Jetton, owner of Gunsmoke Metal Shop.

Second: Capt. Ryan Popp and angler Briggs Ramsay, 4-8; $2,295 and a custom-made crab from Greg Jetton.

Third: Capt. Brian Councell and angler Bryce Jacobs, 4-8; $1,530 and a custom-made muskrat from Greg Jetton.

Bryce graciously donated his winnings back to the Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company in support of the new ambulance, which made its debut at the tournament. According to Bryce’s mother, he donated the money to the fund for the ambulance as a thank you for the times RHVFC helped his grandmother.

The youth division of the tournament is a tribute to the late Martin “Ton” Jacquette, who spent a lot of time with area youth, teaching them about the Bay, fishing, rods, reels and repairs.

Regular

First: Capt. Gerry Haggerty and angler Mike Walters, 6 pounds; $8,820. Walters received a custom-made wooden 3D map of the Chesapeake Bay by Bayside Woodworks and lures donated by Sandy Jacob.

Second: Capt. Lenny Fletcher and angler Jamie Skaggs Sr., 5-8; $5,292. Skaggs received a custom-made wooden Maryland flag with a rockfish by Bayside Woodworks and lures donated by Sandy Jacob.

Third: Capt. Ryan Popp and angler Mark Migdal, 5-6; $3,528. Migdal received a custom-made wooden Maryland flag with a rockfish by Bayside Woodworks and lures donated by Sandy Jacob.

As the top female angler, Hannah Stotlemyer (4.6 pounds) on the Rowe Boat with Capt. Lance Rowe received a hook bracelet donated by Robin Wood Kurwoski.

The rockfish tournament technically was a three-day event with a captains meeting held at Haven Harbour South on Friday night, June 7. This was an opportunity to meet and greet as well as pick up registration packets.

The base for the tournament and weigh-in station was at the Rock Hall Bulkhead, where committee members sold T-shirts and other swag.

For photographs of the winning captains and anglers, see www.rockhallvfc.org/rockfishtournament.

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