Cancer patients at Driscoll Children's Hospital got to get their minds off of treatments and chemotherapy for a while Tuesday as they participated in the 25th annual Chemo Kids Fish Off in Aransas Pass.

The event allows cancer patients to enjoy a morning of fishing. The children were able to hop on boats piloted by Coastal Bend fishing guides who are donating their time for the cause.

After a morning of fishing, trophies were awarded to children in various categories.

Organizers said this year’s event was definitely one to remember.

“You see some of these kids at their very worst and then you see them at their very best, and it’s a little overwhelming,” said Nathan Smith, a nurse at Driscoll Children’s Hospital.

Just before 8 a.m. Tuesday, more than 30 patients made their way to fishing boats at Hampton's Landing Marina.

“I’ve known some of these kids since day one in the hospital, and five years later we are out here fishing together, and it's pretty amazing,” Smith said.
19-year-old patient Luis Montero said he was happy to spend time with Driscoll staff outside the walls of the hospital.

“They make you feel really welcome and everybody smiles at you all of the time,” Montero said.

“Like usual, they pick up quicker than most adults do,” said Anthony Deleon, one of the fishing guides who donated their time to the event. It was his second year volunteering. “They reeled in some really good fish today. I’m glad we could come out here and do this for them.”

After three hours on the bay, Captain Deleon's team won the trophy for most fish caught.

“This was terrific,” patient Michael Rodriguez said. “I didn’t expect to catch a fish like this. It kind of looks like a vampire.”