by the Port St. Lucie Bass Pro Shops.
A good mix of inshore and offshore boats enjoyed the two competition days, registering catches of snook, redfish, sea trout, snappers, cobia, kingfish, dolphin and sailfish. Each afternoon, the teams swapped fish tales at the pool-side festivities, which were highlighted by live music and door prizes. In person supporting the event were Bass Pro Shops Port St. Lucie, Offshore Angler, Papa's Pilar Rum, Lowrance and Simrad, the Florida Coastal Conservation Association of Florida, Crowder Rods and Nu-Ice.
Among those competing were original Mako Owners Tournament veterans Ron Crowder aboard his Mako 284 Madman, Andrew Shultz with his Mako 261 Island Jazz II, and Bob Frevert with his Mako 254 Lightning Rod.
When the smoke cleared, ten-year old Hayden Hawes trumped all by releasing a sailfish, in addition to catching dolphin and blackfin tuna aboard the family's Triple Threat. He was awarded the Top Male Angler title. Top Female Angler honors went to 22-year old Katelin Askey, who landed a 41-pound dolphin on 20-lb class spin tackle. She fished aboard Bob Frevert's 1986 Mako 254 – Lightning Rod. The Top Junior Girl award went home with 5-¾-year old Maddy Lowdermilk for catches of snook, jacks and bonito aboard her family's 1986 Mako 17, Rusty II, whereas 16-year old Andrew Hammond locked up the Top Junior Boy title with catches of bottom fish, bonito and a cobia aboard the Reely Happy. Most Outstanding Catch went to Jim and Sheri Ward, for releasing a sailfish and boating dolphin to 25-pounds aboard Castaways. The above awards were framed Carey Chen art prints. The Top Mako Boat title – a framed Thomas Kraus art print - was carried away by Bob Frevert and his team aboard the Lightning Rod, for several large dolphin, including fish of 22- and 41- pounds.
Divisional Awards (King Sailfish Mako Shark Plaques):
- Trout: Jason Dean, "Error 404" (Mako 17)
- Snook: Ashlee Varney. "Rusty II" (Mako 17)
- Cobia: 33"; Chuck Payne, "Fubar"
- Grouper: Andrew Hammond, "Reely Happy"
- Snapper: David Redington, "Fubar"
- Kingfish: 30-lbs.; Laura Glanzer , "Miss Lynn"
- Redfish: 22"; Wendy Krenshaw Campbell
- Dolphin/Barracuda: The Lockett Family
- Dolphin: up to 28-lbs; Mark Rutherford, "Meant To Be" (Mako 284)
- Bottom fish: Robert Weigt, "Weigt 'n Sea"
The Top Female Anger title went to Trisha Walters, with a 16-pound kingfish caught aboard their Mako 19, LET IT RIDE. The only wahoo caught in the event earned Bob Foldy aboard his 284, NUMBKNOTS, the Most Outstanding Catch award. Top Junior Girl went to Rachel Vergara aboard the Mako 17, MAK'N TIME, whereas five year old Max Lipsky earned Top Junior Boy bragging rights by catching kingfish, dolphin and a blackfin tuna. Lipsky fished aboard Mike Scalisi's 28-footer, NADICOTE.
Challenging weather greeted the fleet. Seas were bumpy, but fishable, on Friday, with several boats getting into a hot kingfish bite. The winds blew out of the Northeast between 20- and 25-knots on Saturday. Nearly all the boats, save for a few 284s, remained inshore and fished the protected waters of the ICW and also Miami's North Biscayne Bay. Dockside parties were nothing short of festive, with reggae and classic rock bands highlighting the Friday and Saturday afternoon cookouts, respectively. In addition to hamburgers, hot dogs and fish, the group was treated to a sensational smoked pork spread, compliments of Danny Vinson, General Manager of Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Dania.
Special thanks to Harbour Towne Marina for hosting the event, the entire team at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World for their invaluable help with the kickoff party and dockside festivities, Offshore Angler, Papa's Pilar Rum, Coastal Conservation Association of Florida, Nu-Ice, Simrad, Penn, Coca-Cola, Yeti, and Star Brite.
OUTSTANDING ANGLER AWARDS:
- Hayden Hawes, TRIPLE THREAT — mangrove snapper, jacks, mutton snapper.
- Andrew Shultz, ISLAND JAZZ II: Hog snapper, tilefish, grouper, porgies, margate, mutton snapper.
- Michael Brown, ARTIC FOX: Yellowtail, porgies, mahogany snapper.
- Bennett Rodriguez, SEA FOX: Trout, mangrove snapper, mutton snapper.
- Larry Jones: Mangrove snapper, 18-lb. kingfish.
- Nate Curry: 20-lb kingfish.
- Trisha Walters, LET IT RIDE: 16-lb. kingfish.
- Sylvain Portal, BLUE WATER REEFER: Kingfish.
- Antonio Perez, CONTROLLED CHAOS: kingfish, mangrove snapper.
- Michael Bounds, EAGLE RISING: Dolphin, barracuda.