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Tournament insider

By LARRY BLUE

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 16, 2001


Phil Hayduke's decision to stay on the outskirts of a bait school paid off to the tune of $2,000. Fishing on Cinderella Story near the channel, Hayduke caught a 33.42-pound king mackerel to win Saturday's kingfish tournament held by the Rotary Club of Clearwater. Hayduke's king hit early in the morning on a blue runner offered for bait. Blue runners accounted for the first four place-winning kings.

Two minutes were left before the weigh-in ended when Bryan Wallace docked the Desperado II with a 26.74-pound king. Wallace's fish was found in 40 feet of water about 12 miles offshore. His second-place fish won him $1,500.

D.J. Ward, on Fair Warning, found his fish (23.82) while laying out a flat line 11/2 miles east of the Rube Allen Reef and won $750 for third.

A mile to the northwest, Jeff Lugo on Fish Tails found his (23.78) for fourth place.

Jaws II captain Dave Mistretta and Herb Larson boated a king mackerel (23.31) good for fifth place. Their fish was one of the few on the board found on the Clearwater hard bottom. This area held a number of big fish earlier in the week. Shad was the bait of choice.

Pete Bystedt brought in the largest Spanish mackerel (6.56) and won $250.

There were 28 fish weighed in from the 75 boats in the tournament. This week is the Grand Ole Opry $100,000 Kingfish Tournament.

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