Warren Grove Fire Co. Hosts Annual Fresh Water Fishing Tournament and Fry

May 24, 2017
Photo by: Pat Johnson Eric Manzoli Vasquez and his catfish entry.

It seemed the whole town showed up for Warren Grove Fire Co.’s fifth annual Pickerel Fish Tournament on Sunday, May 21, at the firehouse. Kids and grownups alike were adding to the growing mound of freshwater fish: white perch, catfish and a few pickerel being filleted, dipped in flour and fried for the banquet that tops off the day.

“The fishing tournament is primarily for the kids,” said Fire Chief Mike Wilbert, “but the adults get into the competition, too,” he noted as some adult grumbling could be heard as a bigger catfish than the previous catfish was weighed in.

His wife, Christine, gathered a bunch of her kids, who had been running around the firehouse excited to be a big part of the festivities. “Every child who fished gets a prize,” she explained.

The catfish and pickerel were caught in a variety of freshwater lakes and streams, including the Mullica and Wading rivers, and the white perch came from brackish water in Beach Haven West, said volunteer firefighter William Chadwick. “Everyone fishes, but we try to do everything for the kids,” he said.

There was a gift auction, too, with many prizes relating to the outdoors.

Warren Grove is a rural place that has the distinction of belonging to three townships: parts are in Barnegat, Stafford and Little Egg Harbor, but all of it is in the Pinelands wildfire zone and in need of a tenacious and courageous fire department. This year was the tenth anniversary of the May 15 wildfire that swept over the pine plains towards Barnegat and Stafford Townships and burned 17,000 acres.

The Pickerel Tournament contest winners are:

Kids Catfish--- 1st Andrew Schattarella, 2nd Kennedy Heinrichs, 3rd Nick Schattarella.

Kids Pickerel ---1st John Spafford, 2nd Annabelle Groger, 3rd Owen Parker.

Kids Perch---1st Kedi Mikuletzky, 2nd Savanna Schilling, 3rd Jacob Giberson.

Adult Catfish ---1st Jeff Pereira Jr., 2nd Billy Chadwick, 3rd Sara Giberson.

Adult Pickerel---1st Adam Mcmullon, 2nd Mason McMullon, 3rd Jessie McMullon.

Adult Perch ---1st Mickey King, 2nd Connie King, 3rd Bridget Mikuletzky.

P.J.

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