AP NEWS

Meet the 10-year-old who won a boat in the 2018 Lake Erie Walleye Fall Brawl

December 4, 2018

Meet the 10-year-old who won a boat in the 2018 Lake Erie Walleye Fall Brawl

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Ten-year-old Santiago Navarro is the proud owner of a brand-new boat, thanks to an 11.3-pound walleye in the Lake Erie Fall Brawl.

Santiago and his brother, Juan, had been fishing since they were about 2 years old and have been competing in the Brawl for years with their dad.

About 6,400 anglers from a dozen states entered the 2018 Brawl, an annual Lake Erie tradition that began in 2010. That’s most contestants ever, and the most kids – maybe because this year is the first the derby has offered a boat for the 16-and-under division winner.

The prize is a 16-foot Hewescraft, with a trailer, rod holders and motor. (The adult prize is a $100,000 Warrior. Meet the winner, Clarence Mitchell Jr., here.)

The day after Thanksgiving, Santiago, his dad and brother drove from their home in Galloway, south of Columbus, to Cranberry Creek Marina, near Huron. It was their first Brawl outing this year, since they’d been busy with football and deer hunting.

A little after 2 p.m., they were trolling in their Alumacraft Trophy 195 with their friend Ron Gibson, when Santiago got a bite on his green-and-clear Bay Rat lure.

“I thought it was going to be a really big fish,” Santiago said in a phone interview. “I was really excited.”

He reeled it in himself.

Santiago and Gibson wanted to get the fish weighed right away. Juan and their dad, also named Juan, wanted to keep fishing. They discussed what to do for about five minutes. Santiago won, and they took the fished to Erie Outfitters in Sheffield Lake, where it came it at 11.275 pounds.

That put Santiago in first place.

He was amazed, he said.

The elder Juan Navarro said he loves fishing.

“It’s challenging, trolling,” he said. “It’s never the same. It’s almost like a science. And the boys, we love it.”

AP RADIO
Update hourly