|Division: 6||Treasure Island, Florida||GATORS FALL SUNCOAST KINGFISH CLASSIC||October 19-20, 2012|
Top Gun Big Winner in Final Event in Division Six at Gators!
Treasure Island, Florida—Economy Tackle with Mark Goodwin leading the team came to the Gator's dock and presented Sid Rice with a nice 34.17. "This was the best fish we've caught in two years," said a happy Goodwin.
But it was short lived as a couple of boats later, David Heavenridge slid up to the dock. When asked if he had a good fish, he responded, "It will do, but I don't think this is the winning fish." He was then told what Goodwin had caught, and he responded, "ours might go that," smiled for the camera and headed for the scale. After fighting his way through the big spectator crowd he gave his name and number to the scorekeeper then helped get the king on the scale. Sid called out, "34.21!" For now, Heavenridge had the slimmest of a lead.
Marcus Kennedy and his Kwazar crew came in after Goodwin, but he couldn't overtake the lead weighing a nice Pro points fish of 33.90.
What's nice about the central Gulf is there are a lot of places to fish.
Heavenridge, Warren Williams, Ron Kein, and Morgan Kein, ran 82 miles west to the middle grounds and fished in 120 feet of water. The four-time winner of this event said Warren caught the fish at 1:45 using a large blue runner on a long line. They fished a Yanmar powered Spectre named Top Gun/Courtside Grille.
The Economy Tackle team of Goodwin, Ron Berdell, Armando Gonzalez, and Jorge Ruiz, fishing a Yamaha powered Contender, decided to stay close to home off Sarasota. "We were in 43 feet of water off Sarasota," he said. "We were 42 miles from the scale dragging a blue runner in the prop wash when the 34 struck. I fought the fish to Ron's waiting gaff. We were extremely pleased with this fish!"
Now the Kwazar, who came over from Mobile, Alabama to hopefully gain some more Pro points, went 65 miles west and fished in 135 feet of water. "Max was letting out a dead cigar minnow on a big spinning reel at noon when she hit," said Marcus. "It's ironic that this was the same spot we fished and won the Grand Ole Opry event many years ago."
On board with Marcus were Max Williams, Brett Rutledge, and Arik Bergerman. They fish a Yamaha powered Yellowfin and are currently in first place in the Pro Tour and earned third in this event.
That's the way you like to see an event end. Three teams finishing very close to one another!
Earning fourth with a nice 29.01 was Matt Tarrance, Jerry Solovskoy, Mike Penny, Rick Hipes, and Ed Gunn on the Mercury powered Nor-Tech named Idle Time. "We went right back to the same spot we were at two weeks ago," explained Tarrance. "It's 70 miles west in 120 feet of water. This was the only fish we saw all day. It was about 11:30 when she ate a blue runner off the shotgun run. Jerry took the rod and when she got close Ed stuck her."
Fifth place went to Chris Weldon on the Horizon Haze. Along with Jason and Debra Gell, plus Scotty Laviere. "We went northwest, electing to fish in 62 feet of water," said the Mercury powered Fountain captain," said Weldon. At 11:30 she ate a blue runner swimming under the kite. Jason did the honors and had no problems getting her to the boat. It was the only fish we saw all day and we were right there with Kennedy. Their fish weighed 28.48.
Hall of Fame angler Harry Thomas scaled a 22.96 to take top honors in the Small Boat Class. They fished completely different than all the other teams. "We anchored 18 miles west of John's Pass and were in 50 feet of water," said Thomas. "She came up in our chum line and Matt brought her to the boat." Harry went on to explain that they only saw one other small king. This is definitely the Gene Turner style of fishing.
Thirty-two teams fished the event.
NOTE: As most of you know that fish D6, Gator's was acquired by a company from the Rice family. It's changed a lot, buildings on the property are gone, parking is better, and the restaurant has really been spruced up. Somehow though, it's just not the same. Gone are the great fishing pictures from the walls and it just doesn't have that fishing theme. Our old weighmaster and good friend Butch Ellsworth passed away just recently and the rest of the gang is no longer around. We've done tournaments at Gator's since '92 when we did our first National Championship there. Teams from all over the southeast used to flock to Gator's to fish. It wasn't because the fishing was great, it was just the atmosphere and good times. At least the old times are in the history books. Gator's sits on a beautiful piece of property right at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico. Don't be surprised in the near future if the property is not sold to a big developer. But we all have some really great memories we will never forget!
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