So I had been thinking for a while now of ways to give back to my church and have fun at the same time. I am blessed to know a lot of great guys in this fishing community we have here and came up with the idea to try and hold a church fishing tournament. My thought was to try and get three captains to take four anglers a piece fishing for the day and with this also raise money for various charities the church participates in. TO make a long story short we did just that and could not have asked for things to go any smoother, well except the seas the first part of Saturday morning.
I asked three great guys and there was no hesitation at all to help me with this. Capt Earl on the Wattever, Capt Ron on the Renovator and Capt Steve on the "New" Sea Snake. Steve even offered to supply some awesome Dandee sandwhiches and subs for everyone!!! Who says there is no cuh thing as a free lunch, that cuban is good bro!! You guys are awesome and I am in debt to you for helping me to pull this off. You are true friends and hope I can repay the favor one day. With out you this would not have happened. Three great Captains with three great boats, what more could you ask for!!
I also needed terminal tackle to cover 12 guys for bottom fishing as I did not expect the captains to use their own personal gear on strangers. We all know how much it can costs to cover yourself with weights, hooks, swivels, leader, bait, ect....let alone for 12 people. Well I had been asking Steve and Brian at C&H what I was trying to put together for the last couple months. I asked if they could help and they both just kept saying come see us when you are ready. So my dad and I went to go see these guys a couple days before the tournament to see what they could do to help. Both just said grab what you need and let us know when your done. When the we had laid everything on the counter I was a little worried as I know how much this stuff costs and there was a lot of it. This was coming out of our pocket to help make this happen. I had a number in my head and was just hoping I could get a little help, I mean I am just trying to put togther a fun day and raise $ for my church. Well when the everything was totaled and all said and done it was half of what I thought it was going to be!! Steve and Brian, you are a class act and I thank you for helping me with this. I hope I can repay the favor one day!!
Finally I needed 12 rods to cover the each angler for bottomfishing for the day. Luckily most had their own gear, Ron had his whole boat covered, but I was still short three rods. I called Mark (Seachaser220) and no questions asked. He gave me three extra rods to help me cover the last remaining guys. Mind you this is after my fiance dropped one of his brand new set ups over board a few years ago . Mark, I appreciate it brotha!! You are always there when I need you.
So, with three captains, three beautiful boats, all the tackle, baits and rods, we were finally ready. We all met up Saturday morning at Mayport. Four anglers stepped on each of the three boats and headed out of the jetties. There were plenty of sea bass caught, b liners, triggers, sharks and one real nice cobia. We all lost grouper in the rocks, fishing was good. In a nutshell it was a great day on the water and fun was had by all. We even had a fish fry the next day to reminsce and tell fish stories. Here are a few pics from the day, still waiting on a few more. I cant thank all of you enough for helping me pull this off!!!
Glad it turned out great. Poor Jessica will never be able to let go of losing that rod over board. Glad I could help out. You know I got your back anytime you need brother. Kudos to the three guys pitching in their rides for a great reason. Of course if anyone has met these guys, they know what kind of stand up guys they are. Hope to get out there with ya soon. Trying to go Tuesday if the dang weather will hold for me. Great job on getting it all put together. I bet for some of them it was a trip of a lifetime. We just take it for granted!!!
Congrats looks like everyone participating had a great time if it grows and u need an extra boat next year let me know
Thanks guys I appreciate it!! Offshore I may take you up on that. I think once I put a slideshow together for the entire congregation to see we will have more interest next year. Another thing is we did this on graduation weekend which I wasnt even thinking about. I know there were more guys that wanted to go, but couldn't.
I had 4 and a half guys on my boat,,and they were all troopers. The seas were crappy early, so I said let's just take it easy here for a while on the beach....where we caught a net full of turbo pogies....then we cruised down the beach a ways and ended up at one of my close in spots, to maybe catch a snapper or two, and try for a grouper....but mainly to buy some time for the seas to lay a little bit.
After a while....the seas started to subside, so I worked our way back to the north, and settled in at nine mile. Found our ledge here, and did a few drifts picking up some nice sea bass in the process. when a small ray came by with about 6 or 7 cobia escorting him....so I tossed some pogies out and hollered for someone to get a pogie in front of them....I pulled two off the ray and then my port stern angler was hooked tight to a stud cobia.......while John was getting taken to the rail, I grabbed another angler's leader and pinned a pogie in the back with a hook and sent him out to the second cobia who was still next to the boat....and of course he sucked it down....and as he turned swim away I set the hook with a little tug and POP !!!.....Sonofa....(but I had to stop myself, as I was with church dudes )....the dang leader was too light and stupid me didn't even check it, or it was probably frayed, more likely....but the cobia was still just hangin around, so for the next 20 minutes we tried to feed him everything but he wasn't having anything with a hook in it....I guess he didn't like the lip ring he had newly acquired, so he wasn't falling for those tricks again.
So I went back to John who was getting pulled from one side of the boat to the other, so I just reached over and lightened the drag a little bit, while explaining that he was hooked good and there was no reason to kill yourself fighting him with a locked drag, he was off the bottom and if he wants to pull some drag...just let him, that helps tired him out anyway. Which made John's life much better
Another several minutes went by and and the cobe was ready and he just layed up next to the boat making for an easy gaff shot and straight into the big cooler he went. There is a pic above of that cobe.
By now the seas had layed down a bit more and we pushed on off to about 17 miles out and boy the sea bass were on fire out here. Big fatties were the norm....and as soon as I got everybody with double dropper rigs it was pretty much two at a time with most keepers. Alexander (my half dude)...who was 8 years old was standing next to me, and everytime I'd drop and hook up, his little hands would grab my, and he'd say..."I got it from here"....and by the time the pass off took place, there'd be a double on...I say "Alex don't drop my rod over board"....and he'd hold onto it as tight as he could and place it on the gunnel, and crank those little black suckers in all day....it was awesome.
Well about 1 o'clock came and Alex was done so it was nappy time and into the cuddy he retired for his power nap I had finally convinced Gene (Kini's Dad ) to fish some and he was bringing in some sea bass too.....and then I looked back and everybody was looking for a shady spot....so I did a quick count and we pretty much had a 6 man limit of sea bass topped off with a stud cobia...and my crew was done...it was 2 o'clock and there was some wicked wind that had kicked up inshore....even though it was dead calm where we were. So I asked 'em if they were ready to head in and they all were....the other two boats were gonna fish a while longer so we headed to my dock and hung out by the pool, and a few guys took a quick swim to cool off.
Thanks for asking Kini....It was a blast...and look forward to doing it again someday....I think you may have started something
Layton, these boys couldn't handle daytiming , they would be bored out of their mind.
Steve, I am glad you had a good time as well. I know this was a bragging rights only fun tournament, but if there was a clear winner it was you. While you guys were relaxing in the pool the rest of us were still trying to get a limit . Nice work Capt!!
Nice job Kini. Keep me informed for the next one, I'm sure I can get our Grady White out there to take a crew! We're taking the Grady White and my pontoon down to the Keys next week for 8 days! Wish us luck!