6th Annual Art Shiver Memorial Fishing Tournament Returns

FIshermen and women from all over the Suncoast gathered to cast off for a good cause.
FIshermen and women from all over the Suncoast gathered to cast off for a good cause.(Courtesy of 6th Annual Art Shiver Memorial Tournament)
Published: Jun. 26, 2022 at 3:21 PM EDT
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - The sixth annual Big Art Memorial Fishing Tournament is back this weekend with fishermen and women from all over the area casting their reels all to help families on the Suncoast.

Peter Smith, one of the contestants, showed ABC7 a video of one his team’s catches, a 42 inch snook fish. Not bad, but he didn’t feel that one was going to take home the gold.

“I don’t think we won but we had a nice tournament, caught a lot of nice fish,” Smith said. “(It was a) Good event and I had a blast, so can’t complain.”

The winner takes home the prize trophy, but the real reward is the cause.

Each year a portion of the money raised at the tournament is spent on a good deed on the Suncoast. This year, it’s going to the Farren Dakin Scholarship Fund, which helps disadvantaged kids interested in agriculture. Dakin, after whom the scholarship was created, was a friend of the tournament’s organizers.  He died from COVID-19 a few years ago.

“Just a good old dairy farmer,” Art Shiver said. “Just like everybody here, good people.”

Shiver co-founded the tournament years ago after his father passed away.

The tournament honors his life, lifts up other families in his name and, of course, brings our community together.

“It’s very humbling, very humbling,” Shiver said. “We don’t ask for sponsors for anything. The community just helps out. They’ll call me on the phone or send me a message hey here’s a thousand dollars donate this to the juniors. Hey, here’s $500 for the biggest snook. The support, it’s amazing.”

Organizers don’t yet know how much this year’s memorial tournament will raise, but they know anything can help.

The Big Art Shiver Memorial Fishing Tournament will be back again next June. If you’d like to sign up you can do so by visiting the Big Art Shiver Memorial Fishing Tournament Facebook group.

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