Strong winds and rough seas made fishing conditions tough for the 168 teams that entered the two-day Southern Kingfish Association Division 6 tournament out of Clearwater.
In the open class, skipper Jim Ladner and mates Larry Simpson and Don Phillips aboard T.A. Mahoney Double Thunder won with a 44.06 kingfish that ate a small greenback two markers inside the Sunshine Skyway bridge. Their efforts netted them a 21-foot boat, 150 horsepower motor and trailer worth $45,000. They also won $5,600.
In the 23-feet-and-under class, Miss Behaven took top honors with a king that tipped the scales at 29.96 pounds. Captain Danny Duncan put the team into contention after getting help from Robyn Dawson, who gave Duncan an area to fish. It wasn't long after the team put its baits out that the winning fish ate a blue runner on Bill McNeely's line. Gaffer James Strange and mate Cal Gargiulo contributed to the team's winning efforts, worth $2,800.
In the women's class, Jaybird repeated. This year, Katie Carr came to the scales with a 34.79 king. The boat is skippered by Jay Mastry, with gaffer BJ Young and mates Glen Carr and Debra Gell. It took Carr 30 minutes to land the winner that was caught on a ladyfish about noon. It too was caught inside the Skyway bridge.
- Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at 727 510-4376 or by e-mail at email@example.com