Marianas Variety

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    Thursday, October 18, 2018-9:39:05P.M.






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Fishing derby not so fun, not so hard for 6-year-old angler

ASK him anything about fishing Don Pedro Cruz wouldn’t talk too much.

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Don Pedro Cruz holds his team Don Pedro’s catch, a 17.7 pound wahoo during the 34th Annual Saipan Fishing Tournament at the Smiling Cove Marina on July 14.  Photo by Floyd Masga

He’s simply a boy of few words but he knows that fishing is “no fun, yet not really hard.”

Don Pedro was one of those on board his namesake boat that launched from Smiling Cove Marina on July 14 and 15 for the 34 the Annual Saipan International Fishing Tournament.

He was just four years old the first time his dad, Joaquin Cruz brought him along to brave the ocean during the 32th Saipan fishing derby two years ago.

Now at age six, steering the boat was much easier for Don Pedro. And just like two years ago, they never came back empty-handed. They caught a 17.7 pounds wahoo and a 6.1 skip jack tuna, not really behind in the competition.

In the two-day event that drew 70 boats, 20 of them from Guam including the Don Pedro, the awesome braveness of the six-year-old boy did not escape the attention of other anglers, and sponsors.

During the awards banquet at the Pacific Islands Club on Monday, Joeten Motors Dung Tenorio, one of the event’s major sponsors didn’t leave the stage without letting everybody know about the presence of little Don Pedro.

It turned out, he said, that fishing is not only for grownups to enjoy. The boat, the crystal clear water of the ocean and the abundance underneath can also be a playground for an island boy like Don Pedro.

The crowd roared in applause as they got to know their little competitor.

“He is the reason why I keep going like this. He loves it so much. Fishing is his passion,” the dad said.

In an interview at the awards banquet, Joaquin told Variety that his son fished with him almost his whole life, since he learned to walk.

“He fished with them on my boat,” said Joaquin who also got his passion for fishing from his own dad.

“And this is not his first year joining this event. This is actually his second year. The first time he joined, he was four years old,” he said adding that even in Guam fishing derby, the whole family fish together.

Click to enlarge
Don Pedro, with dad, Joaquin, mom, Christina and sister during the awards banquet at the Pacific Islands Club on Monday night.  Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

“I let him drive, he knows how to steer the boat,” he said.

Joaquin runs Shut Up & Fish, a fishing charter business in Guam. The business name probably explains why Don Pedro was shy of talking too much. He knows the rules.

Asked if fishing was fun, Don Pedro said, “No.”

Was it hard?

“Not really.”

“It is great.”