All posts by Daryl

PFTS #1 – MarkM Memorial sponsored by EXUDE

exudeThe first event of the 2013-2014 Tournament Series was held on September 21, 2013 in the Upper Tampa Bay area. This event was a memorial event for our good friend and long time judge for the PFTS. Mark could always be found at the Pic n’ Sip sitting behind a computer making sure the scores were tabulated correctly, looking at fish pics to verify measurements and doing anything else to help make sure the events went off without a hitch.

We're gong to miss you Mark!
We’re gong to miss you Mark!

Our lure sponsor for this event was Mister Twister who supplied everyone with Mark’s favorite lure the EXUDE gold dart. You rarely had to ask Mark what he had on the end of his line.

The day started very early for all but the Tournament Director who arrived an hour late due to an alarm clock malfunction. Or so he claims. The morning sign in that was supposed to run from 6:15 to 6:45 ended up being a quick sign in for all 38 guys at 7:15. Most of the anglers took it in stride and used it as a good time for a well deserved ribbing of the Tournament Director.





The anglers were met with a beautiful early fall Florida day. Lots of sun, a nice breeze and hungry fish.


The format for this event was a points format. Each angler got points equal to the number of inches for a redfish, 15 points for a snook and 10 points for a trout. In the case of a tie, the tiebreaker was 5 points for anything species of fish caught. There were a lot of redfish, snook and trout caught but the D.A.R.T. also hooked into a large number of ladyfish, mullet, pinfish, lizardfish, jack and more. The gold D.A.R.T. is a darn good fish catching lure!

barflyOur Pic n’ Sip was held once again at Barfly in Safety Harbor. Great food, cold drinks and attentive service in a fun spot in the center of downtown Safety Harbor. When you stop by, try the Fish Tacos!

Mark and John enjoying the food and drink at Barfly
Mark and John enjoying the food and drink at Barfly (with Skeeter and MarkR listening to a serious fish story being told in the background

Now for the winners!

1st Place went to Chris “ChrisR” Ravelo. Chris entered a 26″ redfish, a 27.5″ snook and a 17.5″ trout which got him 51 points. Chris took home $190 and 20 bags of EXUDE lures!

Rik and Chris

2nd Place went to Scott “Big Hammer” Dalton. Scott entered a 24″ redfish, an 18″ snook and a 12 ” trout for 49 points. Scott took home $114 and 10 bags of EXUDE lures.

Rik and Scott
Rik and Scott

3rd Place went to Walt “Shallowfly” Palen. Walt entered a 21.5″ redfish, a 29.5″ snook and a 15.5″ trout for 46.5 points. Walt took home $76.

Rik and Walt
Rik and Walt

Large snook was won by Todd Llewellyn. His snook was the largest of those not already ‘in the money’ at 19.5″. Todd took home a $25 gift certificate from Masthead Marine, a local St. Pete kayak and sailing store. Paul, the owner, is a long time supporter of the PFTS.

Rik, Todd and Paul
Rik, Todd and Paul

Now for the most prestigious award in the PFTS – The PFTS Perpetual Jug. This went to John “Ump608″ Chapman for his 25” redfish. The jug carries great responsibility. Every winner over the years has signed it and added a little something inside the jug. The jug even has it’s own Facebook page to detail it’s exploits in the hands of the winners. Take good care of it John and be sure to bring it to PFTS #2 in October!

Rik and John

Mister Twister EXUDE also donated another gift certificate for 10 bags of EXUDE lures to be raffled off. This raffle was won by Richard “Rpiatt3” Piatt III.

Rik and Richard
Rik and Richard

This years first event of the season was a good success with lots of fish caught, a good time out on the water, fantastic sponsors and a great venue for the Pic n’ Sip.

The next event, sponsored by Gambler Lures, will be another test of the angler’s ability. Gambler has provided us with lures that will likely be a first time for many anglers. They are both proven fish catching lures that I’m sure our skilled anglers will use to fill up their tally sheet. PFTS #2 will be held on October 26, 2013 along the South Shore of Tampa Bay.

Once again, thanks to the sponsors and all who came out to fish! Look forward to seeing you at the next event.

All photos courtesy of Bill “Heywood” Howard

PFCS #4 – “The Mystery Lure”

We know we are doing what we intended when we heard this exchange:

“So, how’d you do today?”

“I don’t know. I can’t gauge these tournaments”

This year we’ve tried to mix it up with winning formats. Every kayak fishing tournament in the state does the standard snook, redfish and trout slam. Seems the only change to that format is adding a flounder instead of the snook. We’ve decided to change that for our events.

Our morning sign in started at 8 a.m. this time. The past 3 years we’ve had temperatures in the 30’s with a stiff breeze as we stood around in the dark for our January event. If it was going to be cold, at least the sun would be up this time! 38 guys showed up to pay their $5 entry fee and pick up the bag of lures they’d be using for the day.

This was “The Mystery Lure” event. The anglers showed up with fishing rods but were not allowed to bring any lures. This year the lures were sponsored by DOA. After they paid the entry fee, they got a bag of lures that contained chartreuse C.A.L. jig heads, motor oil Terror Eyz, gold glitter DOA shrimp and golden bream C.A.L. shad tails. These would be their weapons for the day.

This event was held in the Fort Desoto area. The anglers were spared the typical cold temperatures but were met with a healthy breeze that stayed with them all morning. Everyone found it difficult to find fish regardless of where they went. Some headed back into protected coves and creeks while others braved the wind and headed out to flats with wide open northeast exposures.

The winning format for The Mystery Lure was a points system included any fish you could catch. They were allowed to enter one of each species they could catch and, in the event, size did not matter. Anglers did not have to put their fish on a measuring board and struggle to get a good picture. All we needed was a pic that included the token and was good enough to identify the species. Snook, redfish and trout got 15 points. Flounder got 10 points and everything else got 5 points. There were also bonus points for a slam and for bringing back all of the lures intact.

To demonstrate the ‘everything counts’ format, this fish got Mark “DoubleM” in the money


The Pic n’ Sip was held at the Nepa Hut Beach Bar at the Magnuson Marina Cove Resort in St. Pete.


Anglers started showing up around 2 p.m. and the food and drink started to flow along with the fish stories that always accompany a gathering of anglers.


Now for the results. The top three split the purse with 100% of the entry fees paid out in a 50%, 30% 20% split. The next 7 places won prizes.

1st Place – Chris “ChrisR” Ravelo. Chris is a repeat winner this year and, once again, he did it with a ladyfish. Everyone else is going to have to step up their ladyfish game if they want to beat him. Chris also entered a redfish, trout, flounder and a pinfish. Chris took home $95.


2nd Place – Mark “DoubleM” Mulligan. Mark is a first time winner this year. He entered a redfish, trout, flounder, ladyfish and, as seen in the picture above, a glass minnow. Not bringing his lures back intact cost him a tie for first place but he still took home $57.


3rd Place – Dan “Texas Dan” Currey. Dan entered a trout, flounder and a ladyfish. Brining all his lures back intact got him 5 bonus points. Dan took home $38.


4th Place – Justin “13” Chamoun. Justin entered a trout, flounder, lizardfish and got the lure return bonus points. Justin got a gift certificate donated Masthead Enterprises owner Paul “Paul” Silvernail.


5th Place – Bobby “Freshly Salted” Stanley. Bobby entered a trout and a flounder along with the lures bonus. Bobby got Polar Bear cooler donated by MetalFab owner Walt “EZYLYF” Ruda.


6th Place – Dave “Rugrat181” Stewart. Dave entered a trout and a flounder. Dave took home a Polar Bear cooler donated by Polar Bear coolers.


7th Place – Brian “Madocian” Arnold. Brian also entered a trout and a flounder and won a pair of Tailin’ Toad gloves.


8th Place – Erik “Chasintails” Allison. Erik entered a redfish and a ladyfish. This won him a pair of Tailin’ Toads gloves.


9th Place – Ken “Sparty” Ketchum. Ken entered a trout along with the lures bonus. Ken took home a pair of Tailin’ Toads gloves.


10th Place – Olin “olinfins” Satterfield. Olin entered a trout along with the lures bonus. This won Olin a shirt.


The Perpetual Jug, one of the most sought after prizes in our tournament series, was won by John “jbdba1” Bishop. Since we didn’t measure anything at this event, he won it for extra effort. He paddled into the stiff wind all the way out to Tarpon Key. It didn’t result in him catching enough to get in the winners circle so we awarded him with the prestigious Perpetual Jug.


We also let John pull the raffle numbers. Only the most trusted anglers get this prized duty. Here’s John performing the duties.


Here are some shots of the group during the announcement of winners.


Todd has done this so many times he can do it with his eyes closed.


Manning paying close attention


BigFlyReel, MikeB and IdleSpeed


Norm and MarkM


Once again it was a fun time for all. The date for the next event, PFCS #3, will be announced shortly. We’ll see what we can dream up make the winning format a challenge in the next one.

Lots of thanks and appreciation to all of the sponsors!

The Danger of Discarded Fishing Line

Photos and Article By Bill “Heywood” Howard


A few weeks ago I was fishing the south shore of Tampa Bay with my good friends Rik Llewellyn and Greg Becker and we were fishing opposite sides of a small mangrove island. I had just lost a pretty big snook which had taken my Zara Spook Jr. when Rik comes paddling around the far side right across where I had just lost this snook. As I yelled at him not to go across he just waved me off, “No Bill, you need to get over here. We have a rescue mission to perform”. What I saw made me sick. A pelican was hanging by its wing, completely tangled in fishing line. Upon further inspection we noticed a fish hook stuck in its beak also, so with a complete team effort (me holding the bird, Greg removing the hook and line and Rik cutting the line off its wing) we free’ d the bird from this death trap and released it. Unfortunately for a few others, we didn’t get there in time.

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“Sometimes people suck”, said Greg. I couldn’t agree more. We removed more line, as much as we could reach, to only find three more dead pelicans. The three of us pondered the outcome of our new friend, hoping he would regain his strength and fly off. Spending about half an hour removing more line, we could only speculate where it had all come from. The Skyway fishing pier, the largest in world would be my first guess. With the amount of fishing that takes place there, the large amount of bait that is attracted to the pier it wouldn’t surprise me that pelicans are getting hooked. While this is purely speculation on my part, I would guess that once hooked, instead of reeling the bird back up to the pier, anglers are just cutting the line and letting the bird fly away. Again, just speculation on my part. I do know that they have used fishing line collection points out there, but I guess anglers feel like they are doing the bird a favor by cutting the line and letting it fly away.

FishingLineReceptacle_zps0902dcc6So fast forward a few weeks, I’m fishing the last tournament of the’s Challenge Series. “Spooning the South shore”.  Anglers could only use two spoons provided by Aqua Dream Spoons. I paddled one mile to an area that I have been fishing and set about working the area with the spoons. Just before 9am, 8:45 to be exact I hook up with a really nice fish, I feel a couple of head shakes and then “Pop”. Leader is frayed, like someone hit it with a belt sander. So I cast my last spoon out and “BAM”, I get another hit. A little bit of drag runs out, then “SNAP”.  “What the @#$%!!!!!”  Another big fish chewed through my leader. And just like that I’m out, no more lures.

SO what does this have to do with dead birds and discarded fishing line? Well suddenly finding myself with some extra time on my hands, I went back to the bird island and what I found made me sick. Yet another Pelican hung up in the mangroves. Without my partners there for support, I covered up (I’m a bit of a germ-a-phobe) and headed in to try to get this bird unstuck. Just as I was climbing up in the tree, it popped free and landed in the water, where thankfully it flew off. I then went to work removing all the used fishing line from the entire island, well as much as I could reach. There was still a small amount that I couldn’t get to, but I got as much as I could. This small island has turned into a bird killing field; I found eight dead birds, mostly pelicans. And this isn’t counting the three we had found a few weeks back, one was banded and in an obvious spot.

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It wasn’t all bad though; this island is a roosting place with lots of nests and a variety of sea birds there.

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So the bottom line to all of this is this, discard you’re used fishing line in a recycle container if available, if not cut it up into small pieces so it cannot cause an entanglement trap. If you do hook a bird, DON’T cut the line and let it fly off. Capture the bird if possible, and remove it or call a rescue organization in your area. We owe it to the wildlife to do everything in our power to protect them from a slow and agonizing death.

PFCS #3 – “Spooning the South Shore”

The last event of the 2012 – 2013 series was held on April 13, 2013 along the South Shore of Tampa Bay. Called “Spooning the South Shore”, the event was sponsored by Aqua Dream Living Spoons.

AQ800As angler showed up to the sign in on the morning of the event, they were each given two spoons – one white and one copper – to use during the day. These were the only lures allowed.

Photo courtesy of John Bishop
Photo courtesy of John Bishop

This season we’ve mixed up the winning formats to get away from the standard ‘slam’ tournament. There are plenty of those around. We’ve taken a ‘just catch fish’ approach that often awards anglers points for low stature but high fun factor fish like ladyfish and jacks. This event followed that philosophy.

Anglers received were allowed to enter one fish of each species they caught. In this event, size didn’t matter to get in the money. They got 15 points each for a redfish, trout and snook and 10 points each for up to 5 other species. They were also allowed to count the spots on one side of one redfish which, at the end of the day, broke what would have been a 4 way tie for third place.

We finally had a day with little wind. It seems as if its been months since the wind blew anything less then 15 mph so it was a very welcome reprieve. With temperatures in the low 70’s and what became a sunny sky after the morning haze burned off, the angler had a beautiful day to fish. Of course, it is that time of year so along with the fishing reports came reports of hordes of noseeums at every launch.

Anglers were allowed to launch at Bullfrog Creek, E.G. Simmons park, Cockroach Bay, Bishop Harbor and both sides of the Skyway into Joe Bay or Miguel Bay. There seemed to be a pretty even split among the 37 anglers entered in the event.

For the Pic n’ Sip, we all gathered at Beanie’s Family Sports Grill in Ruskin.

This is the first time we’ve been to Beanie’s and I can guarantee that we will be back. The food was fantastic (try the Beanie’s Beef sandwich!), the drinks were cold and the service was excellent. It’s a family affair at Beanie’s with Beanie doing the cooking and his wife and daughters working up front in the restaurant.

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The prize table
The prize table

There were a lot of fish caught on the Aqua Dream spoons. Over 30 of the 37 anglers entered submitted a catch report for judging.  The winners for this event are:

1st Place – Chris “ChrisR” Ravelo. Chris had 61 points spread among a redfish, trout, catfish, pinfish, ladyfish and 1 redfish spot. Chris took home $93

Chris Ravelo and Rik Llewellyn

2nd Place – John “Ump608” Chapman. John entered a redfish, trout, ladyfish, catfish and 6 spots for a total of 56 points. John took home $56.

John Chapman and Rik Llewellyn
John Chapman and Rik Llewellyn

3rd Place – Pat “pbr” Reischmann. Pat caught a redfish, catfish, ladyfish, lizardfish and a red with 2 spots for a total of 47 points. Pat took home $37.

Pat Reischmann and Rik Llewellyn
Pat Reischmann and Rik Llewellyn

Three anglers entered 46 points so that one extra spot was important!

In the largest fish category, the winners are:

Largest Snook – Chase “SeaBordon” Borden. Chase entered a 27.75 inch snook to win a $25 gift certificate from Masthead Enterprises.

Paul Silvernail from Masthead Enterprises, Rik Llewellyn, Chase Borden
Paul Silvernail from Masthead Enterprises, Rik Llewellyn, Chase Borden

Largest Redfish – Steve “Tide1On” Burke. Steve entered a 28.25 inch redfish to win a $25 gift certificate from Metalfab.

Steve Burke and Rik Llewellyn
Steve Burke and Rik Llewellyn

Largest Trout – Walt “EZYLYF” Ruda. Walt entered a 22.5 inch trout to win a pair of the “original” fingerless fishing gloves and a Shieldz from Tailin Toads.

Rik Llewellyn and Walt Ruda
Rik Llewellyn and Walt Ruda

The final winner may just be the most sought after prize of all. At each event the angler who catches the third largest redfish takes home The Jug. Each winner signs his name to it and is the keeper of the jug until the next event. “Juggie” has become famous and now has it’s own FaceBook page.

The winner of the Jug at this event was Bobby “FreshlySalted” Stanley with a 24.5 inch redfish. Hey Bobby! Take good care of Juggie!

Rik Llewellyn and Bobby Stanley
Rik Llewellyn and Bobby Stanley

Here are a few shots of raffle winners

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We’ve come to the end of another season. This series is the longest running kayak fishing tournament series in the country. Though we’ve changed things up quite a bit from the founding One Lure series we still continue stress that this is a fun event designed to challenge your skills, introduce you to new lures and fishing areas and develop camaraderie among the members of this site. If you haven’t come out for one yet, sign up as soon as the new season is announced!

And thanks again and again to all the sponsors!

PFCS #5 – “Seeing Spots in Upper Tampa Bay” – Results Challenge Series event #5 (actually the fourth of the season due to a schedule change for event #3) was the “Seeing Spots in Upper Tampa Bay” challenge. In our ongoing effort to have unique and challenging events, Tournament Director Chris “ChrisR” Ravelo decided to make this one a redfish spots event and the anglers were only allowed to use bucktails jigs supplied by sponsor Nut’s Hookers. The anglers were allowed to enter 2 redfish for which they 5 points for the fish plus 1 point for each spot on one side of the fish.

For the 38 guys that showed up, it was a chilly start to the day. With predawn temps in the upper 40’s we were all thankful for a a break in the strong breezes we’ve been experiencing over the past few weeks. As the anglers paid their $5 entry fee, each was handed two of Nut’s Hookers bucktail jigs. The white one is 1/8th ounce and the brown is 1/4 ounce.

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As a fan of bucktail jigs, I was impressed with the quality. Many bucktails are built cheaply and are pretty much one trip lures. Nut’s had nice paint that survived bouncing around on the oyster bars and wraps that are very solid. There was no bucktail shed from these jigs.

The temps thankfully rose quickly as the sun came up but the unimpressive tides were going to make it a challenge for everyone. With little water movement all day it was going to take patience and persistence to catch the sought after redfish.  The field was split, for the most part, between Rocky Creek on the east side of UTB and Safety Harbor on the west. Those that fished the Rocky Creek area had the better day. Chuck “Teamshaft1” Statham reported catching over 20 reds in the creek. Fish were caught on the Safety Harbor side but they were hard to find and not very aggressive eaters when found. Out of the 38 anglers, only a few came back to the Pic n’ Sip with empty catch reports.

The Pic n’ Sip was held at Bar Fly in downtown Safety Harbor. Jeff and Celeste Harrell, along with their rather engaging and future fly casting champion young son Ethan, own and run the place and it should be on everyone’s list of places to go for some good eats, cold drinks and a fun time.

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With a scoring format of counting spots, size didn’t matter. A 12 inch redfish with 2 spots was worth more then a 38 inch redfish with 1 spot. At the Pic n’ Sip before the winners were announced, you could hear guys bragging about how big the redfish was that they caught only to be countered with “Yeah, that’s great but how many spots did it have?”

Bill “Heywood” Howard took first place in the spots category. He entered two redfish with a combined 7 spots. That earned him $95.

DSC_0177Bill “Heywood” Howard and Chris “ChrisR” Ravelo

Todd “Todd” Llewellyn took second place with two redfish with a total of 4 spots. That earned him $57.

DSC_0175Todd “Todd” Llewellyn, Ethan Harrell and Chris “ChrisR” Ravelo

Chuck “Teamshaft1” Statham took 3rd place with 2 redfish with a total of 3 spots. Chuck earned $38.

DSC_0174Chuck “Teamshaft1” Statham and Chris “ChrisR” Ravelo

The next group of winners were in the largest redfish category. Taking top honors in this group is John “JKL” Lee with a 26.75 inch redfish. John took home a cooler from sponsor Polar Bear Coolers. Steve “Manning” Manning entered a 26 inch redfish which earned him a $25 gift certificate donated by sponsor   Metalfab, a top notch custom fabricator of metal products for Architectural applications.

Richard “rpiatt3” Piatt took home the coveted Juggie award with a 22 inch redfish. We’re all looking forward to see what Juggie will experience in Richard’s care.

DSC_0180John “JKL” Lee, Steve “Manning” Manning, Richard “rpiatt3” Piatt and Chris Ravelo

Tailin Toads, manufacturer of the incredible fingerless gloves, donated some gloves and their newest product the Toad Shieldz. Hand made right here in Florida, these gloves truly offer sun protection and all day comfort.

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Once again, thanks to Nut’s Hookers for the great fish catching bucktails and to Bar Fly for the perfect venue for a PFCS Pic n’ Sip!


Thanks to all who came out for the event.’s tournament series is the longest running kayak fishing tournament series in the world. While it has changed names a couple times, the general series format has always been a low cost, emphasis on fun series that challenges you to try different lures and different places. Your coming out helps to assure that this series will continue to grow in the years to come.

Our next event, PFCS #3, was rescheduled from November 17, 2012. It will be held on April 6th along the south shore of Tampa Bay. The lure is picked but we’re still working on a scoring format. As this will be the last of the season, I’m sure we’ll come up with something so we’ll go out with a bang. Maybe even literally.

See you on April 6th!

Photo credit for all goes to Bill “Heywood” Howard. Once again, thanks Bill for the effort and the nice pics!