TOURNAMENTS

Cowpoke Wins Windy Treasure Cay BBC

Monday, July 1st, 2013

1st-Place-Cowpoke

For the first three days of the Treasure Cay Championship, Cruiser Crews’ team Cowpoke waged a seesaw battle for first place with the 2012 Bahamas Billfish Champion Fa-La-Me. In fact, when the Committee Boat called ‘lines in’ on the final day, both Cowpoke and Fa-La-Me had 2,100 points with Crews’ team in first place based on time.

Day four started with Frank Rodriguez team Fa-La-Me picking up 600 points and jumping into the lead when Steve Butcher released a blue marlin at 9:30. Christy Crews on Cowpoke countered with a white marlin release at 10:07 and a blue marlin release at 1:59 in the afternoon. Cowpoke made it a 1,000 point day when Tony Huerta released another white marlin at 2:45.

2nd-Place-FaLaMe

During the four-day tournament, the 61 Viking, Cowpoke, caught and released three blue marlin, six white marlin and one sailfish for a total of 3,100 points. The win earned the Avon Park, Florida cattle rancher and his team a beautiful Randy Rich trophy and a $1,000 gift certificate from Aqualuma Lighting. The trophies were presented by the tournament sponsors Bank of America Private Wealth Management and Bertram Yacht. Capt. Mike Brady and the crew of Cowpoke received Randy Rich acrylic trophies sponsored by the Lewis Marine Group.

Team Fa-La-Me finished second with a very respectable 2,700 points. The Winter Park, Florida team caught and releasd two blues, seven whites and one sailfish. The 70 Viking edged out the third place finisher, Blue Eagle, by a mere 100 points. Brad Jones’ team Blue Eagle from Port Aransas, Texas caught and released three blues and four whites to finish with 2,600 points. In addition to custom designed Randy Rich trophies, the three winning teams also received gift certificates from Roffer’s Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service (ROFFS) and bottles of Bacardi Anejo from Bacardi and Bristol Wine & Spirits.

3rd-Place-Blue-Eagle

Top Tournament Angler honors went to Luis Bacardi who will receive a Carey Chen artwork entitled ‘Grand Slam’ presented by ISR Marine Insurance and Smith-Merritt Insurance. All anglers in the 2013 BBC series are competing for the newly created Jim Lambert Memorial Trophy. The trophy will be presented to the BBC’s top angler. The presentation by ISR and Smith-Merritt will take place at the 40th Anniversary celebration during the Marsh Harbour Championship.

Despite extremely windy conditions all week, fishing action proved to be excellent for the BBC’s third leg of 2013 hosted by the Treasure Cay Resort & Marina. Of the 51 billfish caught and released, 19 were blue marlin, 29 were white marlin and 3 were sailfish. BBC rules require that all releases be validated using time and date stamped digital images. Affidavits signed by all participants fishing on each team further confirms that the fish was released in accordance with IGFA and Bahamas Billfish Championship rules.

Through the cooperative efforts of the Bahamas Billfish Championship, BBC presenting sponsor Silver Airways, tournament sponsors Bank of America Private Wealth Management and Bertram Yacht, and Treasure Cay Resort & Marina, the tournament participants and the people of Abaco were treated to a free acoustical concert by country recording artist Colton James. More than 200 people packed the Tipsy Seagull at Treasure Cay to enjoy the music of the ‘Reel Water Cowboy.’ Through his music, Colton James promotes the responsible enjoyment of our oceans. During the Treasure Cay Championship, ‘angler’ Colton James caught and released a blue marlin aboard the 63 Bertram Sharkbait.

Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Bahamas Billfish Championship is the oldest billfish tournament series in the world. Anglers can fish any or all of the tournaments with cumulative points determining the overall Bahamas Billfish Champions. The BBC endowed two scholarships that enable Bahamian students the opportunity to pursue a degree in marine biology or advanced education in the marine technologies.

For the very latest tournament information, results, overall standings or to register for the remaining tournament, visit www.bahamasbillfish.com. Or contact the Bahamas Billfish Championship at 866-920-5577 or e-mail: info@bahamasbillfish.com. Be sure to download the new BBC App for your Android or Apple device. Search ‘Bahamas Billfish Championship’ in the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

The 19th Annual CCA Louisiana STAR kicked off May 25th

Friday, June 14th, 2013

The CCA Louisiana Statewide Tournament and Angler’s Rodeo (STAR) began its 19th year of competition on Saturday, May 25. One of the largest, and richest saltwater fishing tournaments in the country, offering over $500,000 in prizes, STAR spans the entire Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast and is open to anglers of every age. It lasts for 101 days as the tournament runs through Labor Day, Monday, September 2, 2013.

Fifty (50) tagged redfish like this one are swimming off the coast. Sign up for STAR, be the first to catch one of these tagged redfish and you will win a 2013 Chevy Silverado, brought to you by the Super Chevy Dealers. Visit CCASTAR.com for more information.

Fifty (50) tagged redfish like this one are swimming off the coast. Sign up for STAR, be the first to catch one of these tagged redfish and you will win a 2013 Chevy Silverado, brought to you by the Super Chevy Dealers. Visit CCASTAR.com for more information.

In the signature Tagged Redfish Division, the first 10 tagged redfish turned in by registered STAR anglers will win some incredible prizes, the first of which is a brand new Chevy Silverado pickup truck worth approximately $30,000. Any additional tagged redfish caught by STAR anglers will win a boat, motor and trailer package.

“We gave away a truck last year to one lucky angler,” said Rad Trascher, STAR Director. “All it takes is one cast that could change your life.”

“And it is so easy to enter STAR before going on the water,” Trascher said.

Sign up for STAR by dialing 1-877-4CCASTAR (1-877-422-2782), anytime from anywhere. Whether it happens on the way down to the coast, on the dock or days in advance of a fishing trip, operators are standing by to take your call. All must enter before fishing.
The Nautic Star Speckled Trout Division offers STAR anglers four chances to win in four zones: east, southeast, southwest and west. The heaviest trout in each of these divisions will win a Nautic Star, Mercury and trailer package. The Mississippi Division returns for its second year, awarding a boat, motor and trailer package to the heaviest speckled trout caught.

Boat packages will also be awarded in heaviest fish divisions for speckled trout, flounder and kayak divisions. The heaviest flounder weighed will win a 16’ Weldbilt with a 40-horse Mercury and the heaviest trout caught in each of the four Kayak divisions (east, southeast, southwest and west) will win a brand new Hobie Outback.

This year’s STAR will see its offshore boundaries extended to now include the entire coast of Mississippi to the Alabama state line. $5,000 tackle packages are offered in the Mangrove Snapper (sponsored by Otto Candies LLC), Dorado (sponsored by K2 Coolers), Lemonfish and Red Snapper (sponsored by Whitney Bank) divisions.

Both the Fly and Sheepshead Divisions boast $1,500 gift cards to Academy Sports + Outdoors giving anglers an east and west division spot.

The successful Ladies’ Only division continues to make a buzz with the female anglers around the state as they have their chance to win a $2,500 travel voucher for reeling in the summer’s heaviest trout.

All kids 17 and under participate for free courtesy of Academy Sports + Outdoors. All they need is a current CCA membership and register for the tournament. Their entry into the tournament is free.

The Louisiana Youth Division will award winning opportunities in four divisions: east, southeast, southwest and west. One of four boat, motor and trailer packages will be given to a lucky New Tide angler who weighs in a speckled trout or flounder measuring at least 14 inches. The Mississippi Youth Division also awards a boat, motor and trailer package to a lucky youth angler who catches a flounder or speckled trout. Winners for both the Louisiana and Mississippi Youth Divisions will be randomly drawn at the end of the tournament. New Tide anglers are also eligible to fish in all other STAR divisions.

The Calcasieu Calcutta returns for the fourth year in a row. Participants fishing on Calcasieu Lake may catch, weigh and release live speckled trout at Calcasieu Point Landing to be entered into the Calcutta. Winners will be determined by the heaviest trout registered and released alive.

There are weigh stations throughout the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast: Cajun Fast Mart, Sulphur; West Marine, Lake Charles; Calcasieu Point Landing, Lake Charles; Pecan Island Food Store, Pecan Island; Gulfway Sporting Goods, Kaplan; Maxie Pierce’s Grocery, Intracoastal City; Don’s Boat Landing, Erath; Dago’s, Lydia; Ivy’s Tackle Box, Morgan City; Four Point Landing, Dulac; Eschete’s Seafood, Houma; Tradewinds Marina, Cocodrie; Boudreaux’s Marina, Cocodrie; Gail’s Bait Shop, Leeville; Port Fourchon Marina, Fourchon; Bridgeside Marina, Grand Isle; Sand Dollar Marina, Grand Isle; Joe’s Landing, Barataria; Myrtle Grove Marina, Myrtle Grove; Delta Marina, Empire; Venice Marina, Venice; Cypress Cove Marina, Venice; Breton Sound Marina, Hopedale; Seabrook Harbor, New Orleans; Shubert’s Marine, New Orleans; Puglia’s Sporting Goods, Metairie; Chag’s Fishing and Marine Supply, Metairie; Roussell’s, La Place; Bayou Adventures, Lacombe; Dockside Bait and Tackle, Slidell; Rigolet’s Bait and Seafood, Slidell; Bay Marina, Bay St. Louis, MS; The Tackle Box, Gulfport, MS; Gorenflo’s Tackle and Marina, Gulfport, MS; and Mary Walker Marina, Gautier, MS.

For more information about STAR, contact Rad Trascher at (225) 952-9200 or visit CCASTAR.com.

Entering its 30th year, CCA Louisiana is the largest marine resource conservation group of its kind in the state. With more than 30,000 members and volunteers in 24 local chapters, CCA has been active in state, national and international fisheries management issues since 1977. Visit www.CCALouisiana.com for more information.  

Makin’ Reel —Living Up to Its Name

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Team Makin’ Reel Memories wasted no time establishing a firm lead in last week’s Harbour Island Championship. Angler Kathy Jossim grabbed 1,200 points for the Team by catching and releasing two blue marlin on day one of the tournament which is the second leg of the 2013 Bahamas Billfish Championship.

1st-Place-Makin-reel-Memories

Jossim released her first blue at 10:05 and her second at 3:45. In the meantime, Luis Bacardi on the Rum Bum was busy getting a Grand Slam. He started the day with a blue marlin release at 9:46. Shortly after ten o’clock, Bacardi released a sailfish. He completed the ‘slam’ at 3:05 releasing a white marlin.

Although teams Makin’ Reel Memories and Rum Bum remained quiet, Joe Posillico’s Team Torta made their presence known on days two and three by catching two white marlin and a blue. The final day of the tournament started with the Farmingdale, New York Viking in second place with 1,000 points. The 57 Bertram Rum Bum was in third place with 900 points and Makin’ Reel Memories, a Hatteras 60, was holding on to first place with 1,200 points.

At 8:24 on day four, Makin’ Reel Memories with owner Mike Sandifer in the chair, released their third blue marlin of the tournament. That release gave Makin’ Reel Memories 1,800 points. While teams Cowpoke, Sharkbait and Leap Year were adding points releasing sailfish and white marlin on the final day, neither Rum Bum nor Torta was able to catch a billfish.

Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Bahamas Billfish Championship is the oldest billfish tournament series in the world. Anglers can fish any or all of the tournaments with cumulative points determining the overall Bahamas Billfish Champions. The BBC endowed two scholarships that enable Bahamian students the opportunity to pursue a degree in marine biology or advanced education in the marine technologies.

For the very latest tournament information, results, overall standings or to register for any of the remaining tournaments, visit our website at www.bahamasbillfish.com. Or contact the Bahamas Billfish Championship at 866-920-5577 or e-mail: info@bahamasbillfish.com. Be sure to download the new BBC App for your Android or Apple device. Search ‘Bahamas Billfish Championship’ in the Google Play Store or App Store.

Winning the Harbour Island Championship earned Mike Sandifer and Team Makin’ Reel Memories a beautiful Randy Rich trophy. In addition, the Jacksonville, Florida native received a $1,000 gift certificate from Aqualuma Lighting. Capt. Doug Jossim and the Makin’ Reel Memories crew received Randy Rich acrylic trophies sponsored by the Lewis Marine GroupThe Second Place Randy Rich trophy went to Rum Bum. Luis Bacardi’s team finished with 1,600 points as a result of Bacardi’s ‘grand slam.’ BBC newcomer, Joe Posillico and Team Torta received the Third Place trophy. In addition to the Randy Rich trophies, the three winning teams also received gift certificates from Roffer’s Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service (ROFFS) and bottles of Bacardi Anejo from Bacardi and Bristol Wine & Spirits.
Top Tournament Angler honors went to Luis Bacardi who will receive a Carey Chen artwork entitled ‘Five Billfish’ presented by ISR Marine Insurance and Smith-Merritt Insurance. All anglers in the 2013 BBC series are competing for the newly created Jim Lambert Memorial Trophy. The trophy will be presented to the BBC’s top angler. The presentation by ISR and Smith-Merritt will take place at the 40th Anniversary celebration during the Marsh Harbour Championship.

The Harbour Island Championship resulted in 7 blue marlin releases, 9 white marlin releases and 2 sailfish releases. All catches in Bahamas Billfish Championship tournaments are validated using time and date stamped digital images. Affidavits signed by all participants fishing on each team further confirms that the fish was released in accordance with IGFA and Bahamas Billfish Championship rules.
Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Bahamas Billfish Championship is the oldest billfish tournament series in the world. Anglers can fish any or all of the tournaments with cumulative points determining the overall Bahamas Billfish Champions. The BBC endowed two scholarships that enable Bahamian students the opportunity to pursue a degree in marine biology or advanced education in the marine technologies.

For the very latest tournament information, results, overall standings or to register for any of the remaining tournaments, visit our website at www.bahamasbillfish.com. Or contact the Bahamas Billfish Championship at 866-920-5577 or e-mail: info@bahamasbillfish.com. Be sure to download the new BBC App for your Android or Apple device. Search ‘Bahamas Billfish Championship’ in the Google Play Store or App Store.

Montagu Regatta Starts the ‘Man in the Boat’ Sculling Races Season

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Pressed with the need for water transportation from island to island in the Bahamas and Caribbean before the advent of inboard and outboard engines a number of methods were devised. Rowing of course is the most common and well known. Today, the skill of rowing has evolved from a necessity to a highly visible sport. Another means of moving a boat through the water is the art of sculling. Recently, Coastal Angler Magazine—Bahamas co-publisher Gary Guertin spoke with Capt. Christopher Wallace. Capt. Wallace is originally from Ragged Island and now resides on Grand Bahama Island. He has been a boatman all his life. Here are a few highlights.

Boat-Sculling-Races

“In an archipelago nation, transportation is all about the boat,” Capt. Wallace said. “Before there were engines the art of sculling was a common method of moving a boat forward. When the Duty Vessels reached a port, smaller boats were used to bring supplies to the vessel from the shore.”

The sculling oar was generally 10 to 12 feet long and was made of yellow pine. The sculling oar was kept in place with an oar notch located in the centre of the port side stern of the boat. Like everything else that is muscle work a man’s build (read muscle) and height played a significant role in his ability to power the craft. On average, a good sculler could move a vessel through the water at around two knots. While boats as large as 24 feet were used, the average length of the boats most commonly used was 10 feet. At 76 years of age, Captain Wallace is still active in helping to insure that young Bahamians do not forget this important part of the Bahamian boating culture and legacy.
High-Rock-Scull

The Bahamian Brewery and Beverage Company (BBB) kicked off their 2013 sculling season at the “All for One” Regatta at Montagu Bay, Nassau last month. As one of the sponsors who came to the rescue of the event, the Bahamian Brewery’s national sculling races were a fun highlight to the weekend’s races.

Mont-Scull-Champ-Bastain

With over 16 entries and four heats, final results placed David Rolle, third, Stephen Rolle second, and champion of the Montagu sculling races was Donnie Bastian. Bastian won 10 cases of beer, t-shirts, and the coveted trophy and honour of being the first sculling winner for 2013. Second place sculler Stephen Rolle won 8 cases of beer and for his efforts David Rolle, third place, won 6 cases.

MontaguRacers

Bastian, will travel to Grand Bahama later in the year for the finals of the ‘Sands Man In the Boat Sculling Championship Of The Bahamas’, home of the Bahamian Brewery. He will scull to become the enviable ‘Sands Man in The Boat Sculling Champion of The Bahamas’ – a title currently held by last year’s first champion Mr. Clayton Bain, who hails from Nassau.

Spectators-Montagu

Bahamian Brewery’s main product, SANDS, highlights the traditional sculling on its bottle design, which is also used in its advertising campaigns through out the country. “Traditionally sculling was used by fisherman who went ‘conching’ and at the time had no outboard engines,” explained George Kelly, Sands sculling event organizer. “It was also used in our Out Islands where there were no docks. The smallest person in the village would scull out to the mail boat and bring in cargo to the island.” Mont-Scull-Johnson

King of the Beach Kingfish/Mackerel Tournament Rocks!

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Fish, Party, Eat, Drink, Have Fun and Win!

Winning King of the Beach is truly a family affair!

Winning King of the Beach is truly a family affair!

By Capt. Joe Londot
This is it folks, April 25 thru 27th marks the twentieth anniversary of the Old Salt Fishing Foundation’s King of the Beach Kingfish and Spanish mackerel Tournament and they’re pulling out all the stops for this one. Combined with the Mad Beach Food Fest, this is one combination party and fishing tournament you do not want to miss. The Grand Prize for the largest fish weighed in is a cool $20,000,
In the past few years the crowds for this tournament have grown so huge the Old Salts had to move the venue to the Madeira Beach Ball Fields at 200 Rex Place just to accommodate all the action. If you never fished a King of the Beach Tournament or joined in the fun at the weigh-in and awards ceremonies then you’ve missed out on just about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on; and it’s a great party geared toward the whole family, so definitely bring the kids.

Since the tournament is being held in conjunction with the Mad Beach Food Fest, there will be vendors of all kinds, games, raffles, live music, food, kids beverages, and ice cold adult beverages; in other words, something fun for everyone. It’s estimated that over 10,000 partiers and well-wishers attended the three-day event last fall, and everyone had a blast.

Now about the tournament: This is truly a great fishing contest that anyone can win. It’s not unusual to have 300 teams registered to fish King of the Beach, since everyone has as good a chance to win as anyone else. You don’t need a big boat and you don’t have to travel far offshore to find winning fish.

There are separate divisions for single engine boats, ladies, youths and Spanish mackerel, so all your friends and family can fish, have fun and win.

Advanced registration is only $195 per team and there’s no limit to the number of anglers each team can have. Many teams make it a point to include a lady angler and a kid or two just to have more chances to win the separate divisions. This tournament pays out cash prizes to the top 25 places, based on the weight of the fish, so bring the largest fish you catch to the weigh-in. This tournament features over $80,000 in cash and prizes, the richest King of the Beach Tournament ever.

The mandatory Captains’ Party is Thursday April 25th at 6:30 p.m. and it’s an extravagant event all its own. At least one team member must attend to get all the official tournament rules, but bring everyone for the party, because it’s a total hoot. There’ll be raffles and auctions for cool prizes, fishing gear, exotic travel and too much more to mention here. Last year I won tickets for two to Key West on Air Key West in an auction for $85.

The tournament itself is Saturday April 27th with no formal check out to begin fishing, and the weigh in is from 4- 5 p.m. later that afternoon. This is when the party really begins to heat up as tournament teams come in from their boats and their families, friends and well-wishers gather to urge them on.

To get a complete event schedule, rules and regulations, and to register in advance for the tournament, visit www.OldSaltFishing.org online. If you miss advanced registration online you can register your team in person at the Captains’ Party. Capt. Joe Londot is co-publisher of the Tampa Bay edition of Coastal Angler Magazine.

LUCAS OIL IFA PRO-AM REDFISH CHALLENGE

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Premier, high-stakes fishing event awards over $72,000 in total cash payout

First-place pro angler Tadd VanDemark (left) and first-place co-angler Mac McElroy (right) show off their winning catches at the Lucas Oil IFA Pro-Am Redfish Challenge at Chalmette, La. on March 10.

First-place pro angler Tadd VanDemark (left) and first-place co-angler Mac McElroy (right) show off their winning catches at the Lucas Oil IFA Pro-Am Redfish Challenge at Chalmette, La. on March 10.

Tadd VanDemark, of Cape Coral, Fla., weighed a three-day total of 45.02 pounds of redfish to win the first Lucas Oil IFA Pro-Am Redfish Challenge presented by Cabela’s at Chalmette, La. on March 10. Mac McElroy, of St. Rose, La., took home the co-angler first-place prize with a 44.06-pound three-day total.

VanDemark won $26,300 for his efforts with McElroy taking home the $4,000 co-angler first-place prize. The two anglers were paired together on the final day of the event and fought high winds and stained water.

“The weather really didn’t play a huge role in my success,” said VanDemark. “The key was adapting to different situations and weather. The wind blew extremely hard the night before the final day, making the water filthy and nasty. But I found a few protected areas out of the wind that looked more like the water I had fished the two days before.”

VanDemark fished all three days in the Delacroix area with a soft plastic on a popping cork, varying his leader length to find his fish.

Fishing in his first IFA event, co-angler McElroy attributes his success to great partners.

“I learned something every day of the tournament,” said McElroy. “I fished patterns that I wouldn’t normally fish. I fished areas that I normally fish, but I had never fished it that way. I can’t put a price on what I learned over those three days.”

Second-place pro finisher Gritter Griffin, of Troy, Ala., took home $7,000 for his 43.14 pounds of redfish. Eddie Adams, of Metairie, La., rounded out the top three with 42.59 pounds to take home the $4,000 third-place prize.

Co-anglers Clark Jordan, of Pearland, Texas, and Vann Dassing, of Destrehan, La., won second and third places, respectively.

With over 100-percent cash payout guaranteed, the pro-am tournament series’ next stop will be at Punta Gorda, Fla., on Oct. 4-6. To get more information about the Pro-Am or to register for the next event, please visit www.ifaproam.com or call (478) 836-4266.

For more information or to become a member of the IFA, the fastest-growing inshore fishing tournament series in the United States, go online to www.ifatours.com.

Lucas Oil IFA Pro-Am Redfish Challenge

Pro Top 10 Finishers
1. Tadd VanDemark – 45.02 lbs.
2. Gritter Griffin – 43.14 lbs.
3. Eddie Adams – 42.59 lbs.
4. Billy Nicholas – 40.36 lbs.
5. Fred Walker – 40.16 lbs.
6. Jason Catchings – 38.51 lbs.
7. John Henninger – 37.94 lbs.
8. Mike Laramy – 37.33 lbs.
9. Dwayne Eschete – 29.80 lbs.
10. Sean O’Connell – 26.63 lbs.

Co-Angler Top 10 Finishers
1. Mac McElroy – 44.06 lbs.
2. Clark Jordan – 42.15 lbs.
3. Vann Dassing – 41.70 lbs.
4. Thomas Tucker – 39.53 lbs.
5. Barbara Scopelitis – 39.16 lbs.
6. Andrew Carter – 38.62 lbs.
7. Tony Jackson – 38.05 lbs.
8. Kurt Shader – 37.55
9. John Roberts – 28.66 lbs.
10. Gary Wilson – 27.18 lbs.

Gulf Coast Intensity!

Friday, March 1st, 2013

by Ben Bloodworth

GULFCOAST-INTENSITY2

Recently I sat down with Captain Neal Foster, of Team Intense to talk about the 2012 season of competition in the Southern Kingfish Association. Neal and Team Intense are the first team from the Southern Kingfish Association Division 7: Northern Gulf to win Yamaha/SKA Professional Team, Yamaha/SKA Pro National Championship and Yamaha/SKA Pro Angler awards. Their rise to the top has been steady. Over the past 17 years they have won four SKA division titles, one FLW division title, and lead four junior angler division contestants to titles. During those years Captain Neal, of Mobile, Alabama, has placed in the top five in the division points each year. In 2011, Team Intense finished 4th in Division 7, 13th overall in Pros and 15th in the National Championship of all divisions. Team Intense is comprised of Gulf Coast anglers Neal Foster (captain), Mark Collier, Darren Blanchard, Jason Herbert, Steve Hall and Mitch Mosley.”

Foster sites his sponsors as the key component to his success. “Without the continued support of my sponsors, Team Intense couldn’t compete at the level that we are able to compete.” He adds, “Our sponsors make all this success and our God given abilities to be used to win these awards.” Team Intense is sponsored by Contender Boats, Yamaha, Garmin, Ameratrail, Ken’s Car Tunes, Cannon, Ocean-Tamer Bean Bags and Trailer, Tires & Wheels.com (trailertiresandwheels.com).

Our conversation quickly moved to the 2013 season and the preparation that Team Intense invests into the offseason. “During each season we take notes and review those notes before entering the next season. We know exactly how we are going to approach each tournament. We are continually comparing and contrasting each area that we fish with the year before in regards to conditions, moon phases, historical data(primarily electronic data) and notes from the previous year.”

Because of their thoroughness, Team Intense helped tweak the newest Garmin software to meet their unique style of fishing. Team Intense added valuable feedback for Garmin to improve their Block & Rig chart plotting. “It’s like having the zip codes of the Gulf of Mexico,” Neal adds. “There is nothing about the 7200 Series Garmin product that I’m not totally satisfied about. We use the Garmin product to its fullest ability.” Neal values his equipment like his team values their preparation. Our confidence going into the next year is 100-percent based on the preparation that we go through in the offseason. We treat every season as if the last one didn’t happen. That way we stay hungry and don’t rest on our laurels.” This could be bad news for the rest of the competition. A Team Intense with more intensity? 2013 could prove to be their best year yet.

gulf-coast-intensity

Team Intense sees the SKA as a very viable tournament series. Neal looks for even better competition and a higher level of participation in 2013. His hopes are that with more participation, and greater competition, the result would be a more exciting tournament with a greater payout at the end of the year. He sites promotions like the “Early Entry Promotion” as a sign that the Southern Kingfish Association is being proactive in their efforts to drive higher participation during the year and into the post season. The SKA in partnership with The Zancudo Lodge in Costa Rica are awarding a trip for two to the lodge. Neal says he was putting his entry in the mail as we spoke and is sure that many of his fellow competitors were doing the same.

The 2013 Southern Kingfish Association’s tournament series should prove to be another great year. Thanks to Jack and his staff for photos provided for this article. Good luck to the SKA and our Gulf Coast brothers, Team Intense.

Ben Bloodworth is Co-Publisher of The Bay St. Louis and Mississippi Gulf Coast editions of Coastal Angler Magazine.

2013 Cobia World Championships

Friday, March 1st, 2013

By Eddie Morgan

Dr. Mike Raim with Son Chris Raim and Dread Clampitt’s Fishin’ Musician Kyle Ogle hold the largest Cobia caught in some time. The team hauled in this massive fish just minutes before outside of Destin’s East Pass. Luckily my good friend Captain Curt Gwin of the Only Way blocked a lot of boat from getting too close as this 100 pound plus Cobia took long runs peeling off my line time and again.

Dr. Mike Raim with Son Chris Raim and Dread Clampitt’s Fishin’ Musician Kyle Ogle hold the largest Cobia caught in some time. The team hauled in this massive fish just minutes before outside of Destin’s East Pass. Luckily my good friend Captain Curt Gwin of the Only Way blocked a lot of boat from getting too close as this 100 pound plus Cobia took long
runs peeling off my line time and again.

In just a few months, one of Destin’s most prized sport fish will begin its annual migration along the Emerald Coast. That’s right, cobia season is right around the corner! This year, we would like to invite you to be a part of the excitement. Harbor Docks Charities is seeking sponsors for the 2013 Cobia World Championships Fishing Tournament. Our tournaments will be the focal point in raising money for our 19th Annual Take-A-Kid Fishing Day, to be held Sunday, November 3, 2013. Our goal is to treat 500 children to a memorable day of fishing aboard some of Destin’s finest charter boats and have every child receive their very own fishing rod and reel.

The 2013 Cobia World Championships Captains’ Meeting is set for Friday, March 22 with the first day of fishing on Saturday, March 23. The tournament will conclude on Sunday, May 5. During the 2013 Cobia World Championships, we will also be hosting the 2013 Crab Cruncher Classic Cobia Tournament, with the Captains’ Meeting held on Thursday, April 11 and concluding on Sunday, April 14. Last year, over 70 vessels and thousands of anglers competed for over $155,000 in cash and prizes and helped raise $15,000 to go towards the 18th Annual Take-A-Kid Fishing Day! With your help, this year’s tournaments can be even bigger!
Most importantly, your support helps us offer many underprivileged children one of the most exciting days of their lives. We would like to thank you in advance for your support. If you have any questions please contact Eddie Morgan or Jackie Tway at Harbor Docks.

Eddie Morgan is the Tournament Director for the 2013 Cobia World Championships Fishing Tournament. Contact him at: (850) 502-9733, or by email at: eddiem84@gmail.com.

Expect the Unexpected from the 2012-13 Treasure Coast Sailfish Tournament Season

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

By Ed Killer

A trip aboard the 42 ft. Norwester charter boat in the mid to late 30s. Probably a charter to West End, Grand Bahama Island where this picture was taken. Boat originally built by Carl Tank in New York.
These fish were likely caught on a boat called the Shearwater around 1938.
The Mystery is a 40 ft. Mathews run by Jack Whiticar in the early to mid 40s.
Captain Scott Fawcett  www.offthechainfishing.com

News of exciting sailfish action burned up the docks. According to reports, the sailfish bite off the coast of Martin and St. Lucie counties had achieved epic proportions. Marauding packs of sailfish arose in the propwash behind spreads of trolling baits like wolves surrounding a small herd of elk. One by one, the wily spindlebeaks lit up purple and black, inhaled hooked baits and peeled off to enjoy their fishy snacks.

As conventional reels fed off line, anglers waited for the perfect moment to reel tight and set hooks into corners of jaws. All at once, as if choreographed, a team of three or four anglers could have four sailfish leap from the waves in unison.

Simply put, it was the kind of fishing few men had ever seen.

The beauty of this description of world-class sportfishing action is that there is no specific time line for its occurrence. It happened in January 1938. It happened in January 2012. December 1997. December 1977. December 1941. December 2011.

Welcome to the Sailfish Capital of the World. In this part of Florida tackling 10 sailfish in a day is simply a day’s work, or rather, play.

The area’s legacy as a destination for exciting fishing adventures began around the same time that charter fishing as a profession emerged from the genre of commercial fishing. It was the 1930s and small coastal towns like Stuart had one hotel. Visitors to the hotel, carried here by Henry Flagler’s railroad, found beautiful weather, friendly locals and very little to keep themselves occupied. Meanwhile, the real action in town was down at any of the area’s busy fish houses where fishermen brought back their catches to be salted and iced and loaded onto trains for the trip north to Fulton Fish Market. Bluefish, mackerel, trout, snapper and sheepshead were among the catches sent packing. Other fish with very little use to commercial fishermen like tarpon, snook, sharks, jack crevalle and sailfish were not harvested much due to poor food value.

Visiting men with little to do while visiting Stuart, eventually convinced some of the commercial fishermen to take them fishing. Heck, they would even pay for the chance to go fishing with them.

And just like that, an industry was born.

By the late 1930’s, community leaders realized that tourism and seasonal residents would one day drive the local economy. What better way to promote the region than to celebrate its two greatest assets: cheap land and great fishing?

Ernie Lyons, longtime editor of the Stuart News, and Bob Bell, leader of the Stuart Jaycees, invited outdoors and sports writers from the major newspaper markets around the country to come to Stuart for a visit. While here, usually during the winter, they would fish and sometimes hunt a little bit, with Lyons, a true outdoorsman, and his local skipper contacts. Offshore, they discovered the great wintertime sport fishery here for sailfish, kingfish, dolphin and even a few blackfin tuna.

Frequently, the sports writers returned to New York, Washington, Boston, Detroit, St. Louis, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Chicago and wrote about this incredible little fishing town in Stuart.
One week, in January 1938, there was a particularly exciting bite off Stuart while a group of writers visited Lyons. One even suggested that this little place has such good sailfishing it should call itself the capital of the sport.

No one had to run that by Lyons and Bell twice. Within weeks, there were signs at the edges of town welcoming folks to “Stuart: The Sailfish Capital of the World.”

Fast forward 74 years.

Now instead of telegrams, mail and weekly newspaper columns, the world works on a different communication system. Now when there is a good sailfish bite, the news is relayed through social networking, email and blogs on what has become a 24-hour news cycle.

And the fishing is better, too. Conservation programs and ethical angling practices not in place in the 1930s enables anglers to catch more fish in more locations more quickly and release them with more energy and strength. The use of circle hooks, the dedication to trolled ballyhoo, the use of the boat while fighting a fish, electronics, a wider base of knowledge among the captains has improved and increased fishing success among those who follow the glorious sailfish.

As a result, tournament records that could never before been imagined are being shattered every few years. Unprecedented catches of 300 and 400 sailfish in a couple of days from a few years ago have risen to 500 and 600. During last year’s Pelican Yacht Club Invitational, a tournament with over 30 years of fishing experience, the fleet smashed its all-time record with a catch of 736 sailfish in four days. This one tournament has seen its catch record change three times since 2004 and the 736 crushed its 2010 set record of 408.

But that is just one event. Many anglers in these parts have enjoyed many double-digit sailfish catch days since the turn of the century. What will happen this coming season? It’s anyone’s guess for sure, but it’s a safe bet the sailfish will be snapping.

And whether you want to send out the good news this coming season via telegram or via Twitter, the fish will be waiting and they will be hungry.

St. Lucie Inlet Billfish Grand Slam…accomplished!

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

By Scott Saunders

On Sunday, September 2nd, my crew consisting of Tuckker Brasher from West Marine’s Jupiter store, Laura Modena and I aboard my 21’ ProSports BayKat Can’t Say No powered by a Suzuki F200 headed out the St. Lucie Inlet. We had to go farther offshore to find bluewater than normal due to recent heavy rain runoff from the St. Lucie River. We hit our usual spots for getting some live bait but only found blue runners and hornbellies. Our target that Sunday was to find a nice wahoo (or two). On the way out, Tuckker and I talked about blue marlin. I wanted to finish the St. Lucie Inlet Grand Slam (swordfish, sailfish, white marlin and blue marlin). All that was left was to find that blue marlin someday…long odds for sure, but today it was about finding wahoo.

We defrosted some ballyhoo and put out a dolphin spread. I decided to also troll a blue/white Islander on #8 wire and a large ballyhoo as we trolled over Push Button Hill, south of the inlet. We were using a Penn International II 50W with 50 pound blue Momoi Diamond mono and dropped a downrigger to about 75 feet (on the rigger) and set the bait about 100 feet back from the downrigger ball. It was our hope to find that wahoo.
On the first pass westbound coming up on 320 feet, we heard line snap off the downrigger and the reel started to scream. YES…wahoo! The line kept peeling off the reel way longer than a wahoo run. The idea of getting spooled crossed our minds several times. A few moments later, we saw (what we thought to be) a huge sailfish tail walk for what looked like 100 feet 300 yards back from the boat… and it was still taking line like crazy. I handed Tuckker a belt and he jumped on the reel and got to work.

We quickly cleared all of the other lines and got down to business. Well the fish wanted nothing to do with us and kept taking line. Finally, it slowed down and Tuckker got a few feet of line back. Then…the line went totally slack. I told him, “keep reeling Tuckker, keep reeling” and gunned the throttles forward. We ran about 20 knots for 30 to 40 seconds thinking perhaps the fish was off but then the line came tight again. The fish had made a high speed run right at us!
We decided after 30 minutes into the fight along with the amount of pressure we were putting in the fish that it HAD to be a blue…but not one said this out loud. There was no way a sailfish could withstand the pressure Tuckker was putting on it with the 50W.

The fish sounded and stayed deep for the rest of the fight. We managed to get him boatside several times and started to leader it then he would make a hard right turn directly under the boat and dive deep again. We thought that we might be putting too much pressure on the line so Tuckker was careful not to touch the spool at all. I had not checked the drag before we went out but the last time they had been set up for high speed wahoo trolling. Finally, we saw the dorsal fin and confirmed that it was indeed a BLUE! Now, we were speechless.

After an hour long fight and on the fourth attempt, Tuckker leadered and billed the fish. I got my lure back, took a few photos and revived the massive fish. Our best estimate of the length was 11 to 12 feet (from my forward seating to transom). Based on the length we are estimating 350 pounds. But, what do I know, this is the largest fish I have ever caught or…seen! Man was I stoked and Tuckker was really sore!
When I got back to the dock, out of curiosity I checked the drag on the 50W. I could not believe that it was peaking at 32 pounds. Wow, did we get lucky. Any less drag and I don’t think that we could have stopped this amazing fish.
I now have my St. Lucie Inlet Grand Slam! You just never know….

The St. Lucie Inlet is located in Stuart, Florida between the Ft. Pierce Inlet and Jupiter Inlet. It serves as the eastern end of the Cross Florida Canal/Okeechobee Waterway and is a popular departure point for the Northern Bahamas

Great Fishing at the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

By Capt. Troy Pate

PHOTO: CAPT. TROY PATE

PHOTO: CAPT. TROY PATE

If I had the means, I would charter a boat and enter all categories to fish The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament here in Morehead City, NC. The week begins with the huge welcome party and captains meeting on Saturday evening. Good food and free drinks are plentiful. All the crews are excitedly discussing the approaching week of fishing. Go upstairs and listen in on the Captains meeting and then spend the rest of the evening enjoying the band and party. Sunday is the final step of preparations for the boat and tackle checking knots and crimps, sharpening hooks, rigging pitch baits, verifying leader lengths and setting drags on the 80 and 130 class tackle. Take a final look at the weather and make a decision on which way to head out in the morning, then turn in and try to sleep despite the high anticipation of the morning. Monday morning finally arrives and you board the boat to begin the weeks fishing.

You fish four out of six days and most every day begins the same. Fishing tournament boats enter the channel and push the throttles up to head out the inlet, their cockpits and bridge rails all bristling with that huge tackle everybody loves to see. The captain points her towards your starting destination and you sit back to anxiously await the call for lines in. During the ride the VHF gets tuned to the tournament channel to listen to Capt. Omie Tillet give the daily prayer, which is a special treat to those that appreciate the history of our sport and boats. You finally reach the spot and get set up, then at 9 a.m. it all gets quickly placed into the water and the fishing begins.

PHOTO: CAPT. TROY PATE

PHOTO: CAPT. TROY PATE

The fishing is completely different for every boat out there. Someone will almost always hook up early and get a quick white marlin or sail to claim the daily first fish prize. There will be some game fish caught and also some blue marlin hooked up, and all too often lost. Early or late, first day or last day, eventually it will be your turn. Just as you begin to wonder what you are doing wrong, are you in the wrong place or pulling the wrong baits—BAM— “There she is, big blue marlin!” Everybody is yelling and frantically clearing teasers and rods, your heart races as you get yourself into the chair and hook that big reel into the harness—all the while the line is peeling off at an incredible rate! You finally get the fish stopped, the boat starts backing down, water is coming into the pit and you start gaining line… And this is where I stop and you have to write your own ending. Blue marlin fishing is nuts—fish jump off, pull off for no reason, come to the boat, but are too small, or you could manage to land a huge fish to weigh in and win it all. Win lose or draw it is an awesome four days of fishing.

PHOTO: CAPT. TROY PATE

PHOTO: CAPT. TROY PATE

The Big Rock tournament here on the Crystal Coast, Morehead City NC, is a great event and a lifelong memory maker—regardless of where you finish. The stories of the one that got away are often more memorable than the ones you kill or release. This has been added to my bucket list, you may want to consider it too.

Already crossed Morehead City off your fishing bucketlist? Check out this month’s additional featured locations: St Marks, Banana River, and Arrowhead Lake!

Capt Troy Pate is the operator of the James Joyce II, a 51-foot Custom Carolina from the Morehead City NC Waterfront. He has been at the helm for several years fishing the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament for the owners of the boat and captained a win for the Kelly Wagner Lady Angler tournament. He can be reached at www.moreheadcitycharter.com.

Capt. Ed Dwyer’s Billfish Classic

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012


Presented by Ocean Club Marina (Sept 27-30 2012)

ENTRY DETAILS

Ocean Club Marina will be providing FREE dockage for the 3 nights and also a fuel discount. These slips are on a first come first serve basis, you must be entered in Billfish Classic for reservations.
Standard Entry fee is $500.00 per boat before September 17, 2012, after September 17, Entry will be $700.00.



NO REFUNDS AFTER PAYMENT IS RECEIVED.
First 40 boats registered will receive Capt. Bags
Make checks payable to: OTHERSIDE FISHING INC
Mail to: 
Otherside Fishing Inc.
4440 James Rd.
Cocoa, Fl. 32926


Ed Dwyer’s Billfish Classic First of 4 Tournament’s in the TSC, Tournament Series Championship.

Fall Sailfish Classic

Oct 4-6 2012

Website Coming Soon

New Smyrna Beach Billfish Invitational

Oct,11-14 2012

www.nsbbi.com

El Pescado Billfish Tournament

Oct,18-20-2012

www.elpescadobilfish.com

ENTRY/PRIZE DETAILS


  • Standard Entry fee is $500.00 per boat before September 17, 2012, after September 17, Entry will be $700.00.
  • 



  • Tournament within a Tournament.


  • Boats over 38’ $4,000 per boat. Breakdown: $2000 50/30/20 overall and $2000 70/30 dailys.
  • Boats under 38’ $1500 per boat. Breakdown: $1000 50/30/20 overall and $500 70/30 dailys.
  • Meat fish category, $100 Dolphin, $100 Wahoo, for all size boats.
  • Trophies will be awarded for Top Lady Angler, Top Junior Angler and Top Overall Angler


  • Standard entries include 6 bracelet passes to all Tournament functions and First 30 boats registered will receive Captains Bags. Additional bracelets are available for purchase, and will be required for access to event functions.
  • The OPTIONAL Tournament Series Championship (TSC) is $1,000. All entry fees are non-refundable.


  • Tournament Series Championship (TSC): All boats are encouraged to participate in the TSC. Checks will be accepted until 8 PM on Thursday, September 27, 2012. For the TSC, with participation of 15 or fewer boats, a single “winner take all” purse will be awarded for the team accumulating the highest point total for the 2012 Dwyer Billfish Classic, 2012 New Smyrna Beach Billfish Invitational, 2012 El Pescado Billfish and the 2012 Fall Sailfish Classic combined. Awards will be based on official results only. It is encouraged but not required that entrants in the TSC fish all four events. If there are more than 15 participants in the TSC, the purse will be awarded as follows, 70% for first place and 30% for second place.


  • Standard Entry benefits the Crohn’s Colitis Foundation, Tournament in a Tournament will be paid out minus 5%


  • MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO OTHERSIDE FISHING INC.


SALTY LADY FISHING NEWS

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Tracy Patterson

Ladies, mark your 2013 calendars and book your trip to the beautiful Florida Keys for the 1st Annual Ladies Dolphin Tournament of the Florida Keys to be held June 8, 2013 and hosted by the Elks Lodge #1872. “We heard you ladies and the Elks did not want to let you down,” stated tournament Director Dianne Harbaugh. “This is a community event with money raised to go towards the many local charities that the Elks Club is actively involved with.” If you live outside of Florida, you can fly in to the Miami International Airport or the Ft. Lauderdale International airport, rent a car and drive to Tavernier. The Elks club is located on the bay at Mile Marker 92.The newly remodeled banquet facility will make the 2013 event even more special. For more information on the Florida Keys Elks Lodge in Tavernier contact them at (305) 852-1872. (more…)