After spending an hour on a boat in Boston Harbor on Wednesday morning and a summer staffing a youth environmental education program, Eric Joseph reeled in the biggest catch of his fishing career.
Granted, that career hasn’t been particularly long. Eric, 15, of Dorchester, learned to fish at the beginning of the summer when he joined the team of teachers, college assistants, and 20 local teens who staff the nonprofit Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, an advocacy organization that hosts a youth environmental education program.
Eric’s fish, a striped bass that measured 30 inches, took first prize in the organization’s annual staff fishing tournament.
Eric said learning to fish was a breeze, but reeling in the bass was a different story.
“It was a real struggle. I actually got a couple scratches on my hand, and if it keeps on moving, I’ll probably have more,” Eric said as the fish wriggled in his hands.
“See most of these blood stains?” he asked, indicating blood on the scales of the fish. “That’s not the fish’s.”
Basil Freddura, the captain of the Daze Off, the boat on which the winning fish was caught, said reeling in the striped bass was a team effort. He lent a hand to Eric, as did Imani Dorsey, 16, of Roxbury, another staff member at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay.
“It wasn’t just Eric’s fish, it was our fish, it was the boat’s fish,” Freddura said.
Bruce Berman, a spokesman for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, said the nonprofit works to provide children from more than 100 local camps and educational programs with the opportunities the newly cleaned Boston Harbor provides.
“Thirty years ago, Boston Harbor was a sewer,” Berman said.
Now, the children who participate in Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s program have the chance to splash in the water, hunt for clams and crabs, and learn to fish, Berman said.
On Wednesday, the staff members who teach Boston’s youth about marine life and the environment got a day off to participate in the tournament.
“They deserve a day out on the water,” Berman said….