All posts by Daryl

How to Get Back/Self Rescue Kayak in Deep Water

Getting back into a kayak “aka” self rescue kayak technique, after falling in or tipping over, it can be a pain in the rear if you’re out deep.  There’s definitely more than one way to do it, but we recently stumbled across this video that presents a couple effective techniques.

Getting Turtled is something that is probably going to happen to everybody at some point. It comes down to risk management. In other circles

ATGATT: All the gear, all the time

is the saying.

You can’t plan accidents, they just happen. What you can do is be prepared for one, and have the right safety gear, and test your safety skills.

  • VHF Radio
  • Whistle
  • Signal Mirror
  • PFD
  • Pump
  • Ditch Bag

During the summer months, we’d highly recommend going out and practicing this at least a few times.  You don’t want to waste time figuring it out in freezing temps, when each minute counts…

How to Self Rescue in Deep Water

(Thanks to Spencer Jones @ trailinghookjournal.com for the video!)

I carry a Rescue Stirrup exactly for this situation. Its a continuous loop sling that you use as a step.

And please be careful, carry the required safety equipment.


DIY Rolling Kayak Storage Rack (2x4s and caster wheels)

Until we’re able to buy property and build a pole barn (please, God, let that be soon), we’re stuck with a 2 car garage. With all our hobbies combined, space quickly became an issue. And with the necessary layout, wall and ceiling space is extremely limited.

After getting fed up shuffling the kayaks around on the garage floor, and not wanting them outside, we quickly threw together this rolling storage rack. It’s incredibly simple to make and is cheap — nothing but 2×4 studs, locking caster wheels, screws, and a handful of nuts/bolts/washers.

This setup has the added benefit of having plenty of board space to screw in rod holders, bike hooks, etc.  Before you know it, half your garage storage is rolling around on a franken-rack.

Dimensions:

  • 6 ft. tall (the upright posts, not including the caster wheels or board they’re mounted to)
  • 4 ft. long (no need to make it longer)
  • 32 in. inside width
  • 28 in. inside height (bottom)
  • 16 in. inside height (middle)

Obviously, adjust the dimensions as needed.  16″ tall and 32″ wide is plenty for most hulls.  The 28″ height on the bottom allows room for the fish finder and rod holders.

Tips:

  • Do not skip the slanted supports between the posts and base.  Without them, the frame flexes quite a bit (since the only thing holding it on, otherwise, are 2 screws going up from the bottom of the base into each post).
  • I’m just using drywall screws.  Good enough?  Sure.  But decent wood screws or lag bolts would be stronger.
  • You’ll see that the cross bars holding the kayaks rest on top of the lengthwise bars.  This is also important, doubling up the amount of screws holding up the weight.  Of course, if I used proper bolts, this would be moot…
  • The caster wheel positions are pushed a ways into the base, rather than directly underneath the posts.  Now that I think about it, I might recommend putting them under the far corners, getting longer bolts, and driving them straight up into the posts.  This will put all the weight directly on the wheels, in addition to being far stronger than the 2 screws.
  • I may replace the wheels.  The ones shown are 2 1/4″ casters.  They handle the weight fine, but far garage/barn uses, you’ll want something bigger.  These small ones tend to catch everything and stop, rather than roll over it.  3″ might be a better minimum.  Better yet, spend the extra $ on pneumatic ones.
  • As is, the rack is not tippy at all (surprisingly), as long as you keep the heavy kayak on the bottom.  If you add another level, I’d probably expand the base in both directions, at least somewhat.
  • Some guys will wrap the support bars with carpet squares or remnants.  Fair idea, but I’ve found it to not be all that necessary.  Pine is so soft that it doesn’t scratch or rub off anything.
  • I just left the top bare, but you could easily make a shelf with another level of cross-bars and a sheet of plywood.  But, with the garage door rails overhead, there wouldn’t be any room to get much up there.

Alternatives


This looks interesting — and it’s certainly more attractive than pine.  It’s a bit pricey, but the reviews are glowing and it appears to be well-engineered.  If mobility is important, it doesn’t look like it’d be hard to add casters.  Plus, outside, this will last a lot longer than studs…

Of course, there’s no end to other types of kayak storage systems, as long as you have the wall or ceiling space.

Micro Liberator Transducer Deployment Arm (Mad Frog Gear): Product Review

I’m a big fan of reducing the amount of drilled holes on my kayak.  When I was looking for a transducer arm, I was glad to see a bunch of them that simply used gear track mounts.  In particular, Mad Frog Gear’s “Liberator” platform stuck out.  It’s a really simple way to mount the arm, the fish finder, or both.  Since my Native Slayer already had an electronics bay, I simply needed the arm itself.  The Micro Liberator fit that bill.  It includes a mounting plate for the gear track, the transducer arm, and necessary hardware.

PROS

  • Multiple pivot points.  Allows multiple storage locations when the fish finder is not in use.
  • Easy installation (if you happen to use the whole arm length — see below).
  • One of the cheapest options.
  • Low profile.  Could mount right next to your seat, without nailing it while paddling.

CONS

  • Weak plastic.  See one of the photos for a close-up of the bubbles from sub-par injection molding.  Although this doesn’t need to be over-engineered, the arm is far more flexible than it probably should be.
  • Non-adjustable arm length.  If you need it to be shorter, you have to shorten the length by cutting it.
  • Non-locking pivot points.  Although getting caught in weeds is inherent with any arm, this one is particularly annoying.  Each pivot point is simply a bolt + nut + washer, so weeds can easily move it.  Even fast-paced paddling or current can swing it out a bit.  Easy enough to deal with if it’s mounted close, but I tend to keep things out of the way, so it’s annoying to have to get up and adjust it.
  • No integrated wire management.  Have to zip tie the transducer wire to the arm.

Alternatives

Although the Micro Liberator is “good enough” for now, I’ll probably replace it soonish.  When I do, it’ll probably be this guy:


The RAM transducer arm is a lot stiffer, and the pivot point locks down with a nut.  Overall, the build quality is far superior and will stand up to worse abuse.  I’ve talked to numerous owners and haven’t heard a single complaint.

Kayak for “Coop”

Cooper Vollmer is a 2 year old boy from Sarasota who was recently diagnosed with brain tumor. To help out Cooper and his family, Paddle-Fishing.com is sponsoring Kayak for “Coop”. This event will be a tournament, prize raffle and a kayak raffle. All proceeds will go to the Vollmers to help them care for Cooper.

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Please click on the Kayak for “Coop” links in the menu above! The tournament will be a fun time for all, the event after the tournament will be a great time at O’Leary’s with a huge prize raffle and two people will win kayaks in the kayak raffle.

Kayak for “Coop” Kayak Fishing Tournament – Results

KAYAK FOR “COOP”

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On April 12, 2014, Paddle-Fishing.com held a kayak fishing tournament to benefit Cooper Vollmer. “Coop” is a 2 year old boy who was recently diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and has begun the journey through 70 weeks of chemotherapy. All proceeds from the tournament will go to help Cooper and the Vollmer family.

To learn about Cooper and read some updates on how he’s doing through this ordeal

 Cooper’s Give Forward page

 Cooper’s FaceBook page

Through the large hearts and generosity of the anglers, friends and sponsors, we raised $5,700 through a combination of tournament entry fees, prize raffle tickets and kayak raffle tickets.

The kayak fishing tournament was held in Sarasota with the morning chekc in at ken Thompson Park. Between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. 49 anglers showed up to sing in and get their goody bag with lures from Riptide and Logic Lures. Masthead Marine also provided a coozie for each angler and Hoo Rag provided a buff for each angler.

There was a pretty good breeze out of the east which had most anglers rethinking their launch spots. Quite a few stuck with their original plans and headed to Buttonwood Harbor while others went to launches over on the east side of the bay. Trout were caught in abundance by almost everyone with a few redfish, snook, spanish mackeral and pompano making it to the tally sheets.

Everyone started making their way to O’Leary’s on the Sarasota waterfront between noon and 2 p.m. We had the 49 anglers and dozens more friends who showed up to support kayak for Coop. We made it a full house and O’Leary’s did a good job of taking care of us on an already busy in-season day.

The cut off time was 2 p.m. and winner were announced shortly after that. The trophies were custom made for this event by Walt Ruda of Metalfab. Walt stepped up at the last minute and designed, cut and engraved a substantial piece of stainless steel for each trophy.

1st Place – Phinla Sinphay with 68 inches

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 2nd Place – Travis Robbins with 56.5 inches

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3rd Place – Robert Brown with 52.5 inches

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After the winners were announced, we then held the drawing for the kayak raffle. We were fortunate to have Cooper pull the winning tickets!

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The first kayak raffled off was a Skimmer donated by Hurricane Aquasports . Dino Balos had the winning ticket.

Skimmer Winner

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The second kayak raffled off was a Slayer 12 donated by Native Watercraft and West Wall Boats. Laura Cooper had the winning ticket and that kayak went out fishing the next day. Here’s Laura with her husband and son.

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Next up was the prize raffle. We have an abundance of tremendous sponsors who donated lots of fine products. Here’s a listing and I hope you will all take the time to click through the links and visit their sites.  Great products and the people behind them really stepped up to help Kayak for Coop raise a lot of money.

HooRags
42 Tackle Company
RailRider Clothing
Fins
YAK Gear
Carolina Custom Rods
Breathes Like A Fish
DOA Lures
Aqua Dream
Riptide
Masthead Sailing Gear
Steve Whitlock Game Fish Art
Mirrolure
Canoe Country Outfitters
Nuts Hookers jigs
Bull Bay Rods
Hooks by Ty
Gambler Lures
Ego Nets
Egret Baits
Logic Lures
Pro-Cure
Slayer Lures
Action Watersports
Arctic Ice

Here are pictures of many of the prize raffle winners

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 After the prize raffle we ended the event with an auction. There had been bid sheets by the items for most of the afternoon but it was easily decided that all of them should go for much more than the bids already made. After a round of auctioneering for each item, they all went for a higher price which helped to grow the final donation amount for Cooper.

Tracey got a wonderful kayak pencil drawing from Steve Whitlock game Fish Art

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John Chapman got a chart art print from Steve Whitlock Game Fish Art

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Mike Betz bid and won a custom fishing rod from Carolina Custom Rods

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Finally, this guy (someone help me with a name please!) placed the winning bid on a half day charter with Mark Nichols of DOA Lures.

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They afternoon was full of laughs and smiles, fish stories and good camaraderie as everyone came together to help Cooper.  When everything was finished and we tallied up the money, we handed the Vollmer’s $5,700. After some big hugs and a few leaky eyes, we wrapped things up.

Cooper! We’re rooting for you! Faith matters!

CoopBand

All photos courtesy of Bill “Heywood” Howard.

PFTS #4 – “Hook, Line & Legal”

PFTS #4 – “Hook, Line & Legal” – was held at Fort Desoto on February 15, 20014. This event was sponsored by:

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Llewellyn Insurance Services is a family owned and operated independent insurance agency that provides comprehensive personal and commercial lines insurance.

The format for this event was wide open. The 20 anglers who braved the wind could fish using any legal method available for hook and line fishing. Artificials, live bait, dead bait, 1 rod or 15 rods. Dead stick, troll or cast. As long as it was legal, they could do it.

PFTS4_paddling

We were met at the launch with 20+ mph winds out of the west, gray skies and some intermittent rain sprinkles. The weather was not at all what the weatherman had predicted just 2 days earlier. We’d planned a mass launch from that beach but a game day decision was made to let the anglers launch anywhere in the park. Most took off to launch from the lee side of the road but a half dozen hardy guys braved the wind and paddled out from the beach.

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It wasn’t long before a wind shift to the north and speed increase came which put everyone in the wind. Fort Desoto is a great place to fish but there isn’t much protection from a north wind.

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The points format was the inches for your three largest fish (maximum of 2 fish for any one species) plus 10 points if the angler got an insurance quote from Llewellyn Insurance Services before the event plus 10 points if the angler sent a picture via text of himself with a fish caught during the event. The token had to be in the picture and one angler, Steve Manning, came up with an ingenious way to hold the token.

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Here’s a few other pictures sent in during the day.

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We all met back at Boardwalk Pasta and Seafood to tell stories about tough fishing conditions and to congratulate the winners.

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1st Place went to Steve “Manning” Manning. Steve’s 22.5 inch trout, 21 inch ladyfish, 19 inch jack plus texting a pic during the event added up to 72.5 points and earned him $100.

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2nd Place went to Chris “ChrisR” Ravelo. His 20 and 13 inch trout, 22 inch redfish plus texting a pic during the event added up to 65 points and earned him $60.

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3rd Place went to John “Ump608” Chapman. John’s 18 inch and 14 inch trout plus texting a pic during the event added up to 42 points and earned him $40.

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Llewellyn Insurance Services provided some bonus cash. Derek “dbaker2332” Baker won $50 of that cash with a 19 inch jack.

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Series sponsor Breathe Like  a Fish provided a couple shirts for the event. Arik “Arik81” Smith was a winner of one shirt.

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Bobby “Freshly Salted” Stanley won the second Breathe Like a Fish shirt.

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Series sponsor Tailin Toads provided two pairs of their phenomenal fingerless fishing gloves. The first pair was won by John “JKL” Lee.

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The second pair was won by Freshly Salted Jr. Keep an eye on the Jr., Dad may try and sneak away with them!

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It was a tough fishing day for all. Despite the weather, almost all that signed up actually showed up. There were a lot of tired smiles at the Pic n’ Sip and probably more than a few sore shoulders that evening.

Our next event is not yet scheduled but will probably be the last week of March of first week of April. Keep an eye out for the event announcement. This next one will be for a very special cause!

Thanks to all the sponsors and anglers! Looking forward to seeing everyone in February.

All photos courtesy of Bill “Heywood” Howard.

PFTS #3 Sponsored by Logic Lures

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PFTS #3 was held on Saturday, December 14, 2013 in the Palma Sola area of Bradenton, FL. Our lure sponsor for this event was Logic Lures who provided each of the 38 anglers with a lure package that included two Wiggly Jiggly jig heads, a Scented Tandem Rig in black gold color and a bag of Plastix in rootbeer color.

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The day started out windy and only got windier. We were met at the morning sign in with a steady 13 knots coming out of the southeast. This had many scratching their heads trying to figure out where to fish to stay out of the wind while others just grit their teeth and stuck with their original plans. By 1 pm, the winds were easily 20 knots with gusts much higher and whitecaps covered Palma Sola bay. Here are a couple guys headed in.

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Our plan for this event was to hold the Pic n’ Sip at the Manatee Avenue Causeway park and have a fish fry. Of course, if you want to have a fish fry the anglers would have to catch fish. At this event, neither the anglers nor the lures disappointed us. There was a joke about calling this event “The Curse of the Cooler” as we’ve all experienced the days when you can’t catch a fish seemingly because you brought your fish cooler along to take one home for dinner. Well, that curse was broken!

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Now is a good time for a  side story. To dispel the notion that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks we have proof that is not true. Steve Manning showed up with several fish. After hemming and hawing a bit, he finally admitted that he never takes home fish and has no idea how to filet a large speckled trout. Hearing this, MarkR stepped up with a sharp filet knife and gave him a lesson. After watching MarkR filet one and taking good notes, Steve took over and managed to cut some nice filets without shedding any of his own blood. Good job to both Steve and Mark!

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The real star of the show was Mark “MarkR” Robichaux with his cooking skills. He showed up early in the morning with his truck full of equipment to make the Pic N’ Sip one heck of a fish fry. Pots, pans, burners, tables, peanut oil and his very own soon to be world famous hush puppy mix.

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While the guys were busy telling fish stories, Mark was busy cooking. By the end of the day, everyone went home very well fed and happy thanks to productive lures from Logic Lures, PFTS anglers’ skills and Mark’s fabulous cooking.

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And Mark is still cooking

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The scoring format for this event was as follows:

  • The inches of one redfish plus,
  • The inches of one trout plus,
  • 5 points if a fish was brought back for the fish fry

Now for the winners.

1st Place went to Rusty “FLfishchaser” Driver. Rusty entered a 29 inch redfish, a 21 inch trout and brought a fish back for the fish fry for a total of 55 points. Rusty took home $190 for his effort.

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2nd Place went to Steve “Manning” Manning. Steve entered a 27 inch redfish, a 20.25 inch trout and brought fish back for a total of 52.25 points. While snook did not count in this event, Steve also caught a 34.5 inch snook which gave him an 81.75 inch for the day! Steve took home $114.

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3rd Place went to Chuck “Chuckst1” Statham. Chuck entered a 25.5 inch redfish, a 21.25 inch trout and brought fish back for a total of 51.75 points. Chuck took home $76.

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And Mark is still cooking.

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Large snook went to Kurt “kmeng” Meng. Kurt had to leave early to go unclog a drain at his house – or something like that – so he missed out on the picture taking. Kurt took a Breath Like a Fish shirt home with him for his efforts.

Large redfish went to Josh “YakSlammer” Maitland. Josh entered a 26.25 inch redfish and took home a beautiful print.

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Large trout went to Doug “workless” Fisher. Dough entered a 22.75 inch trout which got him a Breath Like a Fish shirt.

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The final award is Juggie. This events winner is Scott “Big Hammer” Dalton. Juggie is the most highly coveted award in the kayak fishing tournament world. Many anglers have tried but only a select few have had the honor of being able to write their name on the side of this perpetual award. The winner is responsible for taking good care of Juggie – and adding a special memento inside – until the next event when another angler will be get a chance to wrest it away.  Scott won Juggie for his impressive fish fileting skills. Scott stepped up and skillfully sliced off filets as fast as anglers could slide another fish on the cutting board. Good work Scott!

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and, by the way, Mark is still cooking.

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Let’s all give Mark a big round of applause!

Once again, thanks go out to Logic Lures. On what looked to be a very tough day to catch fish, the lures proved to be up to the task. There were so many fish caught that, even after everyone stuffed their bellies, bags of fish filets went home with many anglers. Our worry that we’d not have enough fish for the fish fry was proven to be wasted by the skill of the PFTS anglers and the quality of the lures from Logic Lures.

Our next event is February 15, 2014. We hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season. Stay safe, enjoy time with your loved ones and mark your new 2014 calendar with the date! We’ve already put in our request with the weather Gods and we’re pretty sure you’ll like the choice of baits for the next one.

Thanks to all the sponsors and anglers! Looking forward to seeing everyone in February.

All photos courtesy of Bill “Heywood” Howard.

PFTS #2 – Flipp’n & Flapp’n the South Shore sponsored by Gambler

The second event of the 2013 – 2014 Paddle-Fishing.com Tournament Series is now complete. For this event the lures used were provided by Gambler Lures.GamblerLuresLogoTransEach angler was provided a bag of 4″ Flapp’n Shads in Camo and 4″ Flipp’n Tubes in Green Pumpkin Chartreuse. The Flapp’n Shad is a saltwater type bait but the Flipp’n Tube raised some eyebrows and some doubts. By the end of the day, the Flapp’n Tube proved itself to be a bait every saltwater angler should try out.

The anglers were also provided scents from Pro-Cure and jig heads from Tommyhead Jigs.

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As usual, 36 anglers showed up dark and early for the morning sign in. We had just had our first cold snap of the fall so the morning temperatures were in the 60 degree range. Tournament Director Rik Llewellyn arrived especially early in an effort to rid himself of the well deserved but not well liked forum avatar but still found half a dozen guys who had arrived before him.

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Being the dedicated angler that they are, the PFTS contestants were busy telling fish stories before the fishing even began for the day.

The scoring format for this event was follows:

  • 1 point per inch for one redfish.
  • 5 points per spot on one side of one redfish.
  • 20 points for a snook – length does not matter.
  • 10 points each for up to 3 trout – length doesn’t matter
  • 15 points for a jack – length doesn’t matter

It was a beautiful fall day that was full of sun that warmed everyone up quickly as the sun came up. Fishing, for most, was steady all day.

Once again we returned to Beanie’s Bar & Sports Grill in Ruskin, Fl for the Pic n’ Sip. Beanie’s is a family owned and operated and they have always treated us well with great service, cold drinks and excellent food – I suggest the Beanie’s Beef!Beanie's business card-1

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Now for the Winners!

1st Place went to Chuck “Teamshaft1” Statham.  Chuck entered a 24.25 inch redfish, 2 spots, a snook, 3 trout and a jack for total points of 99.25. Chuck took home $180.

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Chuck “Teamshaft1” Statham and Rik Llewellyn

2nd Place went to Chris “ChrisR” Ravelo. Chris entered a 23.5 inch redfish, 2 spots, one snook, 3 trout and a jack for total points of 98.5. Chris took home $108.00

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Chris “ChrisR” Ravelo and Rik Llewellyn

3rd Place went to John “jbdba01” Bishop. John entered a 20.5 inch redfish, 2 spots one snook, 2 trout and a jack for total point of 85.5. John took home $72.00

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John “jbdba01” Bishop and Rik Llewellyn

Large snook was won by Dave “rugrat” Stewart. Dave entered a 28 inch snook which earned him a Breathe Like A Fish shirt

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Dave “rugrat” Stewart and Rik Llewellyn

Large redfish was won by Brendan “Redfish Driver” Driver. Brendan entered a 26.5 inch redfish, his personal best, and earned himself a Breath Like A Fish shirt.

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Large trout was won by John “Ump608” Chapman. John entered an 18 inch trout which earned him a pair of Tailin’ Toads fingerless fishing gloves.

John “Ump608” Chapman and Rik Llewellyn

With many new and returning prize sponsors, we had a strong raffle after announcing the winners. With raffle prizes from Addictive Fishing, Salty Shores, FINS, Big Hammer and D.O.A, everyone stood a good chance of having their number called to take home a prize.

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Rik Llewellyn tossing extra bags of Gambler baits to raised hands at the end of the raffle

The day would not have been complete without a “Proud Dad” story from Rusty Driver. He gave a blow by blow description of his son Brendan’s catch of his personal best and tournament winning redfish. It a good time when son finally outfishes Dad (and the rest of the guys).

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Rusty regaling the crowd with the story of Brendan’s catch while his son looks on.

We’d like to give a big shout out to Val and Mike from Gambler Lures. They provided the anglers with quality baits and, I think, learned something about tube baits in saltwater. Yes, they do work!

The next event is December 14, 2013 and will be held in the Palma Sola area of Bradenton, FL. The tournament committee has studied the tides, catch reports from previous events held there, expected weather conditions the solunar tables in choosing the lures that will be used. It was a solid discussion among the committee members but we arrived at a logical choice for the lure. The anglers will be pleased and many fish will be caught! Look for a full announcement to be posted soon.

Once again, thanks to all of our sponsors and to the anglers who came out to compete. Looking forward to seeing all of you and more at the next event!

All photos courtesy of Bill “Heywood” Howard.