Stearns Wharf (Santa Barbara) — 2013 Kids Fishing Derby

Slightly overcast weather and hungry fish greeted the 75 entrants and a crowd of approximately 200 people at the Ninth Annual Young Anglers Tournament held July 6, 2013 at Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara. The tournament, started and hosted by John Henigin and his Fish Talk Radio, and joined this year by co-sponsors IGFA (International Game Fish Association) and UPSAC (United Pier and Shore Anglers of California), produced happy faces and an introduction to fishing for a group of young anglers whose homes ranged from San Francisco to Los Angeles (and even Florida).


Loaner rods and reels

The kids were soon a fishin’

It’s all about the kids having a good time

Warren Liu

Of course once the kids started to catch fish, it was even more fun. Luckily most of the kids did catch fish, even if the majority of the fish were small. Most of the fish that were caught were California lizardfish but a variety of fish were caught including perch, white croaker, cabezon, an unusual onespot fringehead, a spider crab, and several octopus.

The judges were ready to measure the fish

Amanda Liu and a small bocaccio rockfish

She’s got a lizardfish

That’s a white croaker

Elaine Liu with a small rockfish

She’s got a second fish and this time it’s a rockfish

Guess what? A lizardfsih

That’s a little one, a baby sculpin (scorpionfish) but be careful because they can still give you a nasty sting.

Sometimes a little help is needed. UPSAC’s Santa (Mike Spence) helping out a mother

It’s a family affair

Two is sometimes better than one

Yep, it’s a lizardfish

A white croaker


Yessirree, a lizardfish

They brought their own tackle

Family and friends

I think I’m getting a bite!

He caught a fish!

That’s a big one!

The pier was crowded

Oh my, an octopus

Kind of slimy?

A gnarly-looking masking (spider) crab

Following the fishing, “Goody Bags” were handed out, there was a raffle, and age-group winners were announced. “Goody Bags” were donated by West Marine, bait was provided by Stearns Wharf Bait and Tackle, and raffle prizes were donated by a variety of sources including West Marine, Cisco’s Sport Fishing, Stardust, Condor Express, KTMS AM 990 and McConnell’s Ice Cream.

All the kids were ready for the raffle

I wonder what I will win?

Are we done yet? No!

Last but not least was the announcement of the age-group winners. The winners were provided certificates from the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), trophies were donated by United Pier and Shore Anglers of California (UPSAC), and signed copies of Pier Fishing in California were provided by Ken Jones (

Winners were: (1) Ages 6 and under – 1st place, Sarah Monroy (Santa Barbara); 2nd Place, Brian Palacios (Santa Barbara); 3rd Place, Douglas Gentile (Santa Barbara); (2) Ages 7-11 – 1st Place, Jesse Osterhage (Goleta); 2nd Place, Kevin Mantano (Santa Barbara); 3rd Place. Emily McMaster (Menlo Park); (3) Ages 12-15 – 1st Place, Maria Ascencio (Santa Barbara), 2nd Place, Nassim Ghaffari (Gainesville, FL); 3rd Place, Fabio Montes (Santa Barbara).

The Winners!

Helping out at the tournament were John Henigin from Fish Talk Radio; Nancy Farr from West Marine; Frank Drew from Stearns Wharf Bait and Tackle; Bob Semerau and wife Chris from Western Outdoor News; James Liu, Mike Spence, Hashim Nahid, Eugene Kim, Brian Linebarger, and Ken Jones from UPSAC; and Mike Moropoulos.

Bob Semerau from Western Outdoor News

UPSAC’s Brian Linebarger and UPSAC’s leading family, the Lius — Warren, Amanda, James and Elaine

John Henigin of Fish Talk Radio and long time outdoor writer for the Santa Barbara newspaper, Mike Moropoulos

Once the derby was over and everything was cleaned and put away, there was a little time for fishing.

UPSAC’s Brian Linebarger, James Liu and Mike Spence

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