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Tournament insider

By LARRY BLUE

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 12, 2000


Rusty Fox had to wait in line to weigh his fish at the Old Salts King of the Beach tournament, knowing he had a good king mackerel but unsure if it could win with 244 other boats competing.

The wait paid off, and Fox was ready with a celebratory cigar. His 31.18-pound king mackerel was worth $10,000, beating Ron Kien's second-place fish by more than a pound Saturday at Crabby Bill's on Indian Rocks Beach.

Fishing aboard Dirty Laundry in the shipping channel near the No. 1 and No. 2 markers, Fox caught the winner with a ribbonfish slow-trolled near bottom. Hooking up about 3 p.m., Fox had to battle not only the fish but 4-foot seas. Earlier in the day, he had fought a 150-pound shark for an hour.

Kien, fishing on Team Creative, found his 30.04-pound kingfish in 40 feet of water. He was forced to anchor the boat because the water was too rough to keep slow-trolling. The second-place fish ate a Spanish mackerel used as bait.

Casey Bryde caught a 29.76-pounder for third place aboard Bryde's Marine. His fish also bit a Spanish mackerel.

Aaron Corn, 12, won the youth division with a 14.34-pound mackerel aboard Mama K.

Marsha Beil weighed the only fish in the women's division. Fishing aboard Good to Go, Beil had problems catching bait and resorted to a pinfish. He 10.18-pound kingfish was worth $1,000.

-- Larry Blue charters the Niki Joe out of Madeira Beach. Call (727) 397-3773, or e-mail at Captlblue@aol.com.

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