Charlz Sanchez was the winner of Tasi to Table’s Youth Shoreline Fishing Derby after reeling in a 1.12-lb tarakitu, or skipjack, last Saturday at Civic Center Beach.
The 15-year-old said his “heart was pounding very hard” as he reeled in the skipjack and said that his catch on Saturday was his biggest fish so far. When asked for fishing tips he would give to his peers, he said that he is “still a beginner too,” and said it is best to stay patient and use good bait. Sanchez was the event’s sole participant who caught a fish and pocketed $300 for his prizewinning fish.
TTT president Gene Weaver said he was pleased with the turnout last Saturday and was very happy to see parents coming out to support their children. The event saw a little over 20 participants. “I’m happy to see the parents out with the kids, and that’s my main goal as far as parental involvement,” he said.
Weaver also said that the event was put together in about three weeks, as the Marianas Visitors Authority recently coordinated with TTT to put together a “kid’s fishing derby” that would happen alongside MVA’s Hafa Adai & Tirow Summer Jam also last Saturday. Despite the relatively short time to plan and promote the youth fishing derby, Weaver was happy with how Saturday went.
“We were going back and forth with the Marianas Visitors Authority. …Hopefully we get more notice [next time] that way we can promote [our event] a lot better and have more participants out here, but today, it’s great,” said Weaver.
TTT vice president Wayne Pangelinan said the Shoreline Fishing Derby is just the beginning and helps its effort in educating the youth about sustainable fishing.
“For now, we are hopeful that we get a good number of participants as this ultimately supports our ongoing efforts to keep TTT’s program moving forward. It will be interesting as some fishermen who plan to attend are eager to try out this tournament as it requires a two-fish species entry,” he said.
According to its website, TTT is a non-profit corporation registered in the CNMI. Established in July of 2020, TTT engages the youth teachings on fishing methodologies, boating safety, environment protection and safeguarding as well as mental health of its youth. It first began with a six-month program for the Da’Ok Academy in summer 2019, and started an eight-month program for Saipan’s high school students in 2020. TTT launched Tinian and Rota branches this summer, first testing out a four-month pilot program with hopes to begin an eight-month program on both islands next school year.
Students who participate and complete TTT’s programs earn elective credit hours that go towards high school graduation.
For more information on Tasi to Table, call Weaver at 483-4363 or Pangelinan at 788-8057.