El Cheapo XIX Tournament
El Cheapo XIX is in the books and what a great tournament it was! With beautiful weather and calm seas, anglers from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee and all over Florida made up our almost 350 general anglers, 87 juniors, 77 ladies and 14 kayaks. We weighed 166 fish…the most we’ve seen in a while. Seeing the interaction between our traveling anglers and our locals was so heartwarming and refreshing. Of course there was a little bit good natured trash talk, but friendships were made along the way and we are all looking forward to next year, our 20thanniversary!! Look for something special as we get ready to celebrate.
2018 winner Alton Robey won with an 11.82lb fish making him one of only four anglers to have won this tournament twice, and only the second one to win back to back years. The last one was Jim Thomas in 2004 & 2005. Alton won a 2019 Carolina Skiff with a brand new Suzuki on it sitting on a Magic Tilt trailer. Alton caught the fish on his first drop of the day at 3 minutes after 7:00 on a double fiddler crab not too far offshore. Several anglers were nearby when he caught the fish and based on what his wife Aimee said, his screams were probably heard in Savannah!
Michael Vitko and Vickie Nobles were fishing about 7 miles offshore of St. Augustine when what they thought was a right whale put on a heck of a show jumping several times before going on its way. FWC has since confirmed that it was a humpback whale which has never been seen around here before. She ended up taking first place in lady angler with a n 8.8lb fish. Six year old Robert Dunn from Valdosta, Georgia won the Junior Division with an 8.16lb fish, and Rodney Agustin won the kayak division with a 6.96lb fish. Several of our traveling anglers placed and took home some hardware, and good fish were caught all up and down the river as well as offshore. It was an incredible tournament! Thank you to all our anglers, sponsors, and volunteers. Without all of you, none of this would be possible. You can see complete results at www.elcheapojax.com