|Division: 8||Fort Pierce, FL||FLORIDA POLICE AND FIRE GAMES KMT||June 22-23, 2012|
Penny-Less Cashes in with a 55.18 in Fort Pierce
Fort Pierce, Florida—Weighing the second largest king mackerel caught in an SKA event so far in 2012, Alex Burgess and his Penny-Less crew continues their sweep of this year's Division 8 events by carrying a 55.18 to the scales to take home the top prize in the Florida Police and Fire Games KMT. Fishing with Alex on their Mercury powered Contender were teammates David Linsinbigler and Jim and Mike Wood. They had pre-fished off of Fort Pierce on Friday and didn't find any fish. In conversations with friends, they had reports of some 30-pounders being caught a ways south between Jupiter Inlet and Juno pier so they made the decision to start the day fishing along the 100 edge off of Juno. "We caught a half dozen nice kings within the first half hour that we fished," said the excited skipper. "Mike had just released a small king and while we were turning around to make another pass something ate a runner and took off. Jim picked up the rod and set the hook on what we thought was another small king. The fish didn't fight much and came right to the boat. Since the water was so clear we saw her circling 40 or 50 feet down and we could see that it was a decent size fish but we were still surprised when Mike needed help lifting the big girl over the Contender's side."
The Penny-Less is on a roll. They started the year in Division 10 weighing a 45.62 to finish in sixth place in Key West. Their next stop was the Palm Beach 440 where they took home the event's top honors weighing a 48.02 and caught a 33.62 king at the Pompano Beach Shootout to give them the Division 10 Open Class lead with one more event coming up in July.
At the Frances Langford Division 8 opener in Jensen Beach in the middle of May, the Penny-Less weighed a 48.02 to start the Division with a win. With a little more luck they might win the Division 8 triple crown with a good fish at the Fort Pierce Summer Slam, the third tournament in the Division.
The All In skippered by Terry McCray, the 2010 past National Champion from Apopka, Florida, was the first boat to arrive back at the Fort Pierce Marina scales just as they opened at 3:00pm. Ryan Johnson fished with Terry on their Evinrude powered Wellcraft. The first king of the day weighed in at 46.12lbs and take home the tournament's second place check. The All In was headed to some numbers offshore from Fort Pierce where they had previously caught some good kings. Along the way they ran into several pods of bait in 45 feet of water between the #14 and #16 channel markers four miles due east of the inlet. Terry told me that kings were everywhere attacking the baits and skying all over the place. I guess that was a good enough reason for them to start the day fishing in much shallower water than they had planned. Around eight o'clock, their big fish ate a Lee's Live Bait goggle-eye fished way back on the surface. After a couple long runs, Ryan soon had the fish back to the boat.
Third place fell to the Bandit, Ron Mitchell's Suzuki powered Invincible. Fishing with Ron were teammates Jaime Fortwangler, Dave Hudson, Sam Cory, Tyler Davis, and Mike McCabe. Team Bandit started the day fishing in their home waters offshore of Jupiter, but because the current was really ripping they soon decided to move into shallower water and proceeded to catch a few small kings, some barracuda and spent some time fighting a large bull shark. Around 1:00 they spent a half hour hooked up to something really big that fought just like a big kingfish. They never got the fish close enough to the boat to see it when it cut through the wire leader and headed to places unknown. While they were moaning and groaning about the lost fish something ate a runner fished way back in their spread. Mike grabbed the rod and after a short but tough battle had their 42.17 pounder in the boat. As most of you know, Ron is a Palm Beach Sheriff's Deputy. Two other members of the team are in law enforcement and a third is a firefighter. As the top finishing team with a police officer or firefighter onboard, the Bandit was awarded the gold medal in this year's edition of the Florida Police and Fire Games.
Mike and Lori Jacquin fished the event with Chris Carter, Leon Wilcox ,and Peter Weisberg on the Lil' Devil.com, the Jacquins' Yamaha powered Yellowfin. Mike told me that they fished offshore of Jupiter in an area that they not been able to find any fish during the past several tournaments that they have fished. "I figured that sometime or another we would stumble on to a good king there, even if we spent another month fishing the area," he said with a smile on his face. They carried two nice kings to the scale and it took a few minutes and lots of thought picking the right fish to weigh. Lori caught the first king around 3:30 after it ate a gog fished on the surface and around 3:00 the king they decided to weigh ate a big runner fished on their kite. The fish that they chose to weigh tipped the scales at 35.30 pounds while the other fish was less than half a pound lighter.
The Gatorfan, David Albritton's Yamaha powered Contender finished in fifth place with a 27.12 pound kingfish that they caught in 55 feet of water along the east edge of the High Bar, four miles offshore of Fort Pierce. Fishing with David were David King and Anthony Oakes. They caught four fish early in the day and chose to weigh the one Dave King caught after it ate a gog fished way back on the surface.
Taking home the check for the top Small Boat was the Piracy, Kadri Benton's Suzuki powered Contender, for the 28.60 king that they caught in 40 feet of water along the beach three or four miles south of the power plant. Kadri started the day with little success fishing further offshore. As they put out their baits in the shallower water, a 50+ king skied on a runner and took off. They fought the big fish for just a couple of minutes. The fish either tail cut them or ran into something because, when they reeled their line in, the leader was shredded in several places. The fish that they carried to the scales ate a ribbonfish on a downrigger.
Kadri would like to thank everyone at White's Tackle in Fort Pierce for all their help and support and giving him the time off to fish the Police and Fire Games event. Many thanks also go to Kadri's dad, the Mayor of Fort Pierce, for not only fishing with us but for all the support from the local government when we have brought our National Championships to Fort Pierce.
Winning the Police and Fire Games Silver Medal for a police or fireman weighing a fish was the All Hooked Up team, Chris Nelson's Ameracat with John Klimek and Danny and D.J. Markowski, Jr. onboard. Young D.J. would win the SKA's Top Junior Award.
For the past four years, the Treasure Coast Sports Authority along with the Saint Lucie Sheriff's Department has hosted the Florida Police and Fire Games events. Police and firefighter from all around the country compete in more than 40 different sports to win the medals that are awarded to the top finishers in each event. This year, the Sports Authority asked us if we would help LawGames.org organize a tournament to honor Florida's police and firefighters. Next year the Games are moving south to Fort Lauderdale.
We can't say enough about the job that Dean Kubitschek and his crew always do to make the Fort Pierce City Marina a great place to hold a tournament. Thanks, Dean.
Many thanks also go to all of the volunteers who came out to help make the event a success, especially Lt. Chris Vandeventer and Chief Deputy Gary Wilson from the St. Lucie Sheriff's Department. Great job, guys!
Site Copyrighted © 2013
Southern Kingfish Association, LLC
15 Garnett Avenue
Saint Augustine, Florida 32084
United States of America
All Rights Reserved
The name Southern Kingfish Association and its logos are trademarks of the Southern Kingfish Association, LLC.