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Reelin’ it in at the Snapper Derby

The winners and their trophies with Darren Binder on the left.

It was all about fishing fun in the sun during the Shelter Island Lions Club annual kids’ Snapper Derby on Saturday, Aug. 31. Kid contestants up to 14 years old were geared up with fishing rods and snapper rigs all over Island beaches, bridges and boats.

Young anglers competed to catch a top place in the categories of Biggest Snapper, Biggest Bluefish and the Most Caught Released. There was also an art competition where kids vied to get their fishing-themed artwork chosen for next year’s Derby T-shirts. 

“I am always happy to see families fishing and enjoying one of our island’s special gifts,” said Darren Binder. “Helping kids make Island summer memories is what keeps me excited for next year.”

Is it a winner? Young fishermen watch a fish get weighed for the competition. The fish were then cooked for the community fish fry.

T-shirts featuring the work of last year’s winners, Ulu Aipa, Nolan Sanwald and Lily Levitsky, were up for grabs to everyone in attendance. A total of 14 kids entered this year’s contest and three pieces were chosen for next year’s shirts. 

“It was really cool seeing my painting on the T-shirts. When I painted it last year I didn’t really think I would win. I got shirts for a bunch of my family and friends,” Ulu said. 

Kids with poles were seen all over the island vying for the biggest catch.

The weigh-in was at 5 p.m. at the American Legion, where a community fish fry served up the fish caught by the kids. Sponsors provided burgers, pizza, drinks, treats and other food for everyone in attendance. 

“Me and my family and friends did the derby last year too. It’s really fun. We fished off of my uncle’s boat and Crescent Beach too. We’re going to do it every year,” said Auggie Earls of Peconic. “There didn’t seem to be as many fish as last year.”

The annual Snapper Derby is spearheaded by the Shelter Island Lions Club with help from numerous local sponsors. Excess revenue generated from the Derby goes to the Lions Club to support local charities.

While kids caught the fish, volunteers cleaned, cooked and served them.


(0.985 lb.) Nicholas Marsh 

(0.975 lb.) Ryan Sanwald 

(0.960 lb.) Mathilde Panzieri 

(0.915 lb.) Samantha Marsh 

(0.895 lb.) Alexa Marsh 

(0.765 lb.) Alexi Bartilucci 


(3.630 lb.) Nicholas Marsh 

(3.105 lb.) Andreas Khuri 

(2.585 lb.) Matthew Purther 

(1.750 lb.) Angus Deely 

(1.550 lb.) George Deely 

(1.165 lb.) Peter Deely 


(102) Henry Cruise 

(27) Andreas Khuri 

(21) Charles Fishman 

(6) Alexander Stonehill ​


Angus Deely 

Russell Lowell 

Eli Eisenstadt