Harrington resident Sara Deason, 15, recently became Delaware’s youth fishing champion, having earned the top prize in DNREC’s 28th Annual Youth Fishing Tournament.

Harrington resident Sara Deason, 15, recently became Delaware’s youth fishing champion, having earned the top prize in DNREC’s 28th Annual Youth Fishing Tournament.

Deason won her first tournament trophy in 2003 when she captured first place for her age category as a 4 year old.

Even though she has now aged out of the tournament, Deason says she doesn’t plan on putting her fishing rod down any time soon. And when she grows up, she hopes to land a job as a DNREC game warden or as an equine veterinarian. But no matter how her future turns out, Deason said she will continue casting her line, one of her favorite pastimes and the best way to spend quality time with her father, David Deason.


Q: How did you get involved in fishing and why did you decide to stick with it?

A: It all started the day I got out of the hospital, when I was two days old. My dad took me to Killens Pond and I was on the bank with my mom. As I got older, I learned to fish. It’s very relaxing and I love to do it. There’s just something about it that makes me love it. There’s never been really any desire to stop fishing. It’s just something really fun that I love to do, both saltwater and freshwater.


Q: What’s your secret to winning the tournament?

A: Just determination. My family is very religious and we pray before we start the tournament. We’ve learned what bait to use, and I just sit there and I keep going and nothing can break my concentration. I’ve had opportunities in the past where it’s hot, I was about to pass out, and I just kept going because it’s something I love to do. And when you love to do something, you don’t want to stop.


Q: What’s your favorite thing about fishing tournaments and why?

A: I get to spend time with my dad. I don’t get a lot of time with my dad because I’m so busy and we both have stuff to do. It’s something we love to do together and we’re good at, and we bond over it. This year, being my last tournament, I really realized how much I love spending time with him and just fishing with him. He’s taught me everything I know and I really look up to him when it comes to every aspect of life.


Q: What’s the most challenging thing about fishing tournaments and why?

A: Probably stopping. I don’t like to stop. When a fishing tournament ends, I’m like, wow, why can’t it go longer? I just love it.


Q: What’s next now that you’ve aged out of this tournament?

A: Now that I’m done with the tournaments, I’m hoping to volunteer more with DNREC. I will volunteer with the youth fishing tournaments next year and I hope to get a volunteer job working with DNREC. Also, I’m going to do more fishing tournaments in the ocean. I’d really like to go out there and kick some butt in that, as well.


Q: What advice do you have for other kids hoping to win the tournament?

A: Practice makes perfect. It’s taken a long time for me to get it down … but practice, practice, practice. Experiment, use different hooks, different bait. Before a tournament, pre-fish the area and find out where the fish are. And also, when the tournament starts, get your head in the game and don’t take it out until it’s over.




AGE 15

HOMETOWN Harrington


FAMILY Mother, Carla; Father, David; brother, Coy, 21

SCHOOL Geneva Academy in Lincoln



MOVIE “The Fault in our Stars”

FOOD Steak

PLACE TO FISH Killens Pond State Park

HOBBIES Fishing and horseback riding




LOCATION Silver Lake



TYPES OF FISH CAUGHT Blue gill, catfish and golden perch






OVERALL Sara Deason, 15, of Harrington

AGES 4-7 Joseph Salvcia, 7, of Dover; Jonathan Pollock, 6, of Middletown; and Phoebe Wong, 4, of Frederica

AGES 8-11 Michael Greco, 9, of Dover; Lauren Pollock, 11, of Middletown; Allyson Lebendig, 8, of Magnolia

AGES 12-15 Samantha Stetzar, 14, of Magnolia; Emily Greckle, 14, of Camden, no third place winner