Sunday, December 8, 2013

nail biter

It was a nail biter all day and great competition on and off the boat.  Each day offers opportunities at daily prices for overall points, most sailfish and most marlin, so despite anyone's standings, everyone should be out there fishing to win.

 By the rules, Dwight and myself are the only ones allowed to deploy our baits, we are limited to 3 rods each until one of us hooks up and we are not allowed to receive or give each other any favoritism or to steal bites from each other.   Some of the best competition in the tournament was between me and him right there on the Dragin Fly.

I started off with a slow pic, landing 3 of 4 bites, whereas Dwight was having a tough time, hooking only 2 for 7.   Things slowed a bit and Dwight and I were scratching our head as to why James was leaving some decent fishing.   He was following a blip of birds on the radar about 4 miles away that ended up being the motherload.

Things started picking up and suddenly I was 6 for 8 and in contention for some dailies, then it got crazy,  10 sailfish piled in our spread at the same time.   I hooked 3 of them, Dwight hooked 2.   Unfortunately, two of my 3 ended up jumping off.    Within minutes of those releases we were both doubled up again, I think that I landed 3 or 4 doubles for the day.

When James called in this round of releases the rest of the fleet picked up and started steaming to us.   By the time they got to us, I was in the lead for the daily with Dwight as my closest competitor, then I hit a slump.   I don't know what happened, but I missed 5 good bites in a row and was feeling pretty low as the other competitors began to walk away from us.

I was standing on the back of the boat taking a leak when the flat line clip on which I was urinating popped, the bait on  the other end was attached a 200 pound blue marlin, that I landed, putting me back in the game.   If I could hold it together and tally up some sails, with the numbers that James was raising, I was still in contention......then I missed the next 6 sailfish bites from my side of the boat.

I connected on a couple and felt like I was getting back into my grove, needing only 2 sailfish to take the lead for the day with only 20 minutes to do it, when it happened.  A pack of sailfish wiped us out again.   I hooked a double from my side and Dwight hooked a single.   With both of my fish taking drag from the rod holders I left them to try and hook a 3rd that was chewing on the right flat line but could not connect.   When I turned around and went back to the two that were waiting for me it was a mess.   Dwight's fish was jumping over both of my lines and cut off one of my fish.

In short, any of the 15 sails that I sancochoed, missed, jumped off or broke off the line on the final day had the opportunity to be a $10,000 fish.  I feel really bad for letting my crew down, but I did get a nice trophy for 3rd place.

As a boat, Dragin Fly was 7 fish ahead of the 2nd place boat,  Sea Angel, on which, Austin Angel was fishing with his dad, Greg.

Congratulations to Austin Angel for the 2nd time winning the WBS Grand Championship.  He is one heck of an angler who missed only a couple of fish on the last day.  Austin had 1800 points for the day and 4100 for the tournament.  There is no telling how many fish that he would have caught if he was on the Dragin Fly!