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 Paddle-Fishing.com 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!