Free fishing event, cleanup shines light on Pleasure Island; see how you can get involved

Published 12:40 am Thursday, May 25, 2023

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Ronnie Moon calls it the only event he knows of that pays you and feeds you so you can have a good time.

Moon is talking about the upcoming 5th Annual Pleasure Island Fishing Contest and Clean Up. The two-fold event is set for June 10 and runs in conjunction with Saltwater Anglers’ League of Texas.

S.A.L.T. is the oldest saltwater fishing club in the state.

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Registration begins at 7 a.m. at the S.A.L.T. Club, 900 T.B. Ellison Parkway in Pleasure Island.

Moon, whose history with the Island’s north levee area goes back decades, said the contest is for bank fishing only — no boats allowed — and is only for fishing the North Levee.

Weigh-in is at 11 a.m. back at the clubhouse. Prizes are awarded for heaviest redfish, speckled trout and flounder. There will be free links, chips and drinks. Door prizes will be awarded.

“Everything is free,” Moon said. “We do this to get families out and participate in the outdoors, to get the kids out of the house.”

The fishing contest brings approximately 100 contestants on average, and the children love it, he added.

Moon and his wife Roxanne started the fishing contest and cleanup five years ago, but Moon has been a part of the Island community for many years. He and his brother were once owners of Moon Aquaculture Foods, a shrimp-farming project in the North Levee area.

Moon has made daily trips along the North Levee to pick up trash for many years.

He said volunteers for the June 10 cleanup portion of the event receive gloves, garbage bags and tools to pick up trash. They, too, will get free links, chips and drinks.

Moon is getting ready to pass the torch to another person. He said he is getting up in age and will be turning the event over to Shane Jennings, a S.A.L.T. board member.

“I’ve been working with the city and county to try and keep the levees clean and cut. It’s been a job and something I’ve been involved in doing,” Moon said. “I raised my kids out there and want other parents to bring their kids and get them involved in outdoor sports.”

Jennings is excited to be part of the event that is a way to get children and families to the Island and to clean up the area.

The Club holds monthly tournaments for its members and hosts events throughout the year focused on youth, such as a free Kids Only Tournament, free kids division in the big annual tournament, free Kids Fish at Sea Rim State Park and more.

The Club changed its Memorial Weekend tournament to a Summer Classic Tournament to be held in July this year.

Mary Meaux is a news reporter at The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at