Children's Fishing Rodeo rounds up kids' catches in Gulfport

mhalford@sunherald.com Twitter: MaryMargaretSHJuly 5, 2014 

GULFPORT -- The competition was just between the kids Saturday at the Children's Fishing Rodeo in Gulfport, part of the Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo.

Boys and girls between 4 and 12 years old had from 6 a.m. until 4 p.m. to catch the biggest fish they could and get it to the scales for a chance to snag a prize in categories for saltwater and freshwater fish.

"It's a tournament set aside for the kids to compete against kids and not adults," said Mark Wright, weighmaster at the kids' rodeo. "You see all the smiles on their faces? They just love it."

Six year-old Landan Langlinais of Ocean Springs wowed the crowd watching the weigh-in at the conclusion of the kids rodeo. Just after 4 p.m. the spectators were abuzz seeing his 101-pound-3-ounce stingray.

The stingray was good for second place overall in the rodeo. But because there was no stingray category for the kids rodeo, the soon to be first-grader didn't win a prize among the children. But he stands to get much bigger prizes if his catch holds up for second place overall.

It didn't matter to Langlinais that stingrays weren't a category in the kids rodeo.

"It felt like it was going to whip me right out of the water," said the youngest of three generations of Langlinais men who were on the boat. The boy was assisted in getting the stingray on board by his father Brandan and grandfather Pat.

Plenty of other youngsters took part in the kids rodeo, proudly wearing T-shirts promoting their participation. The biggest catch among the competing kids categories was Spenser Elford's 35 pound-4 ounce Drum. The King fisherman was nine-year-old Daylon Collins of Pass Christian, was the kids rodeo King Fisherman. Six-year-old Brynn Breland of Saucier was Queen Fisherette.

Wright said he was pleased with the turnout in this year's rodeo, with more than 20 entries in the first 30 minutes after the scales opened.

While kids were bringing in their catches of the day, others made their way to the trough where the fish were being displayed.

Becky Hines of Jackson County brought her 3-year-old son, Kade, over to see what the rodeo was all about.

"He loves it, it's been a fun day," Hines said. "Maybe he'll compete next year when he's a little bigger."

Wright said the kids' tournament has become a favorite of the annual event, and they plan to do it again next year.

Correspondent Steve McCall, contributed to this report.

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