Big Fish

Patrons came from every corner of Panama to Bocas for the 50th Celebration of Feria del Mar.  Early on Saturday, September 15, 2012, the annual Feria Fishing Tournament ensued. Many competitors began but by the end of nearly 10 hours of fishing only 15 or so boats remained. When 5pm came, the fishermen were asked to show their boat’s biggest catch of the day. The rule of the competition is the boat that brings in the biggest fish wins, and the teammates split the prize of a 25hp four stroke Suzuki motor and $1,000. The boat was that of Hartmut Bolberg and the other team members included Pete Dunham, Don McCandless, Doug Hattendorf , and Shane Sandhoff. This is not a normal story of a fishing competition due to its unique ending. Shane Sandhoff, an 11 year old boy, reeled in the winning fish for his team. I’m sure everyone can recall a wonderful childhood moment that you will remember forever, and this was Shane’s moment. Shane began fishing at 8 when he and his parents, Terry and Jill Sandhoff, relocated from Milton, Florida (USA), to Boquete, Panama. The family has resided in Bocas del Toro since 2010. In Shane’s spare time he enjoys wrestling, playing soccer, surfing, and making his own fishing spears. He says when he grows up he’d like to be a commercial fisherman and it seems that he’s already on the right track.

Shane Sandhoff, 11, catches the winning fish in Feria del Mar’s 50th Anniversary Fishing Competition.

Shane Sandhoff, 11, catches the winning fish in Feria del Mar’s 50th Anniversary Fishing Competition.

Printed monthly in both English and Spanish with a circulation of 5,000 free copies distributed at airports, hotels, restaurants and various retail locations throughout Bocas del Toro, Panama City, David, Boquete and Costa Rica. Also published on the Internet on a daily basis.

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