Team Nauti Gator: Juniors on the Circuit

The Pompano Beach Saltwater Circuit Series is one of the biggest and most competitive tournaments in South Florida. Some of the best captains and crew fish for not only tens of thousands of dollars in cash and prizes, but more importantly, bragging rights! Top teams have fished together for years and know exactly what to do and when to do it. However, every great team had to start somewhere and for team Nauti Gator, that start is now!

Nauti Gator is a team of junior anglers made up of 6 kids aging from 7-13 years old. Katelyn (13) and Louie (11) Rosado, Trey (11) and Chase (7) Gailing, Pilar LaCaria (12), and Benji Coopersmith (12). Yes, dads are there to assist, but the kids do the work.

As a kid on Nauti Gator, we do everything from rigging and catching bait, to putting out the spread, to cleaning the boat after we fish. Even though it sounds crazy, we actually enjoy doing all the work. It’s fun, especially because we get to hang out with our friends while we do it.

After a few years of fishing on other people’s boats, my dad asked my brother and I if we would like to start our own team where the kids were in charge. We were super pumped to ask our friends if they wanted to fish with us and even more excited to finally have a team of our own.

Once we got our friends involved, the Nauti Gator fishing team was launched. We couldn’t wait to start fishing until we realized how much work and preparation we had to do.

Our first tournament was a real eye opener about how much time, effort and planning goes into fishing. We went from just showing up to fish, to busting our butts trying to prepare. We went bait fishing, pre fishing and threw rigging parties, which usually ended up turning into pool parties.

So far, all of our hard work has been worth it. On the first leg of the Circuit, we fished hard and caught fish consistently all day, just not the right ones. Our youngest angler, Chase Gailing won 2nd place in the pee wee division.

For the second leg we made a long run from Hillsboro Inlet all the way up to Jupiter. We caught fish all day, but the sharks were relentless! We hooked a bunch of nice fish that ended up getting sharked, but we didn’t give up. We did end up catching some nice fish. Not only did Chase get first place pee wee this time, but his brother, Trey also won first place junior angler. It was awesome hearing Jaime Bunn call all of us up on stage to announce that we were the top Junior Anglers and handed us a trophy and gift cards.

We can’t wait to fish the Saltwater Showdown, the final tournament of the series. We know we have a lot to learn and a long way to go, but eventually we would not only like to be the top Junior Anglers, but also place in the tournament as one of the top overall teams. In the meantime, we’re gonna have a fun time fishing with our friends and learning all sorts of new things.

~ By Katelyn Rosado

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