LAKE COMO, NJ — With temperatures nearing 90 degrees yesterday, many youngsters headed to the Belmar beach to enjoy the cool ocean breezes and refreshing surf — except for one group who started their day on another body of water just minutes away.
With fishing poles and gear in hand, they planted themselves on the quiet banks of Lake Como, determined to catch at least one fish, even as the heat turned from steamy to sweltering under the rising sun.
Some 40 children up to age 16 competed in the annual Kids Go Fish Day on June 29, which this year was moved to Lake Como from Sylvan Lake in Bradley Beach, which has been undergoing a restoration project.
While they took their spots along the lake’s expansive northern banks for a morning of catch-and-release fishing, they also enjoyed a barbecue — complete with hamburgers, hot dogs and cold drinks — served up by the Bradley Beach Recreation Department director Shawn Heeter and others.
In addition, members of the Bradley Beach Surf Casters were there to assist the young anglers, as well as give out the prizes when the whistle blew to end the three-hour contest — with each winner receiving a trophy and fishing pole.
Siblings Pauly and Jordyn DeJesus of Bradley Beach, who have won in past years, kept their streak alive. Seven-year-old Pauly caught the largest fish in his age category — a four-ounce channel catfish. And Jordyn, 9, reeled in a catfish double in size at eight ounces, earning her another first-place prize. In her age group, Kayley Kremen, 8, of Bradley Beach emerged as the winner with a one-ounce sunny to top her competition.
The “big fish” winner of the day was Ciaran Lawrence, 13, of Belmar, whose catch of a 15-ounce brown bully catfish earned him top prize in his age category, and the grand prize for the entire contest.
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