fishing – Team Tuppens/Garmin wows field with 62-pound king

0

fishing – Team Tuppens/Garmin wows field with 62-pound king

Team Tuppen’s/Garmin 1. Shark 0.The biggest king mackerel Steve Sprague and his Tuppen’s/Garmin fishing team have ever seen on one of their fishing lines – a 62.33-pound absolute beast of a fish – was nearly taken by a large and very hungry shark. In fact, only an hour earlier, the team actually was reeling in a small shark on one of their lines only to see it fall prey to a 10-foot hammerhead shark as it neared their boat.But the big kingfish escaped the shark’s jaws, and was brought aboard Sprague’s boat at about 2:30 p.m. Friday. A few hours later, when it was weighed at Fort Pierce City Marina, it wowed the crowd of more than 350 onlookers and even surprised the anglers who brought it in.The huge smoker king landed Tuppen’s/Garmin atop the day one leader board for the Southern Kingfish Association Mercury Tournament Trail National Championship being fished out of Fort Pierce this weekend. The two-day event will conclude Saturday with the weigh-in from 3-5 p.m. at Marina Square located at Fort Pierce City Marina.“I had set a goal to hopefully catch a 50-pounder, something we had never done in a SKA tournament before,” said Sprague, of West Palm Beach. “Our previous biggest king was a 49 we caught during the SKA Nationals in 2014 in Biloxi.”Sprague is fishing with son, Christopher, 11, James Gilchrist, Ryan Rowe, Billy Broadbeck and Jason Phillips aboard his 38-foot Jupiter powered by triple Yamaha outboards. Not only was the team’s fish the largest caught Friday among the tournament fleet of 174 boats, but it is more than 22 pounds heavier than the second standing catch of 39.60 pounds landed by Auggy One’sMarcus Davila, Wayne Davila Sr. and Wayne Davila Jr.Fishing for kingfish was pretty slow, according to many of the teams that weighed in Friday. Only 83 teams even weighed a fish in the tournament which bases its scores on a two-day aggregate weight meaning 91 boats recorded a zero weight.The tournament features three divisions of competition – open class, a small boat class for boats of less than 27 feet overall length and a single engine class. There are 114 boats registered for the open, 43 in the small boat and 17 in the single engine, including the smallest boat in the tournament, a 17-foot Boston Whaler from North Carolina named Traveller Fishing Team.For Sprague, if Tuppen’s/Garmin is to earn a national championship, he knows his team has to back it up Saturday by adding another fish. But he is grateful for how Friday wound up.“It was nice to get one away from the sharks,” Sprague said. “We lost a lot of good kings to sharks this year.”Tuppen’s/Garmin was fishing in waters off Palm Beach County in about 80 feet of depth. They had caught a few smaller kings earlier in the day, but they didn’t have too much action otherwise. Finally, in mid-afternoon, they got the big bite coming on a live blue runner fished out on a flat line. Rowe handled the angling duties while Sprague drove the boat. Broadbeck stuck the long gaff and fished the king out of the water before the shark could take another swipe.In the Small Boat Class, the team Reel Thrill/Bone Suckin’ Sauce, a 23-foot Onslow Bay, with Vaughn Ford, Walter Nelson and Jay Bucklen based out of North Carolina weighed a 49.52-pounder to lead the division. Standing second with a 31.85-pound fish is the Melbourne-based team of Blondie with anglers James McNab Jr., Tim Dunegan, Campbell McNab, Cole McNab, Brogan McNab and Jeff Daniels. Amanda Gail with David Lucas, Thomas Evans, Dustin King and Michael Fulcher stand third with a 29.95-pounder.G-Force leads the single engine class with an 18.64-pounder ahead of Flight Risk with an 18.48 pound king.Teams will check out at South Causeway Park and then SKA officials will give the “go fishing” signal over VHF radio channel 72 at 7 a.m. sharp. Most boats will likely depart from Fort Pierce Inlet making the jetty a good spot for spectators to watch from. Some boats will run south in the Intracoastal Waterway and go to sea via the St. Lucie Inlet.Teams are fishing for top prizes of two Sea Pro 239 boats powered by Mercury Outboards sitting on a Loadmaster trailer, and for the single engines class a Bonefish flats boat, motor and trailer. The SKA Village featuring vendors, artist Don Ray and sponsors will be open Saturday at Marina Square at noon.To watch the weigh-in streaming online, or for more information about the Southern Kingfish Association, go to www.fishska.com.Marine weather forecastSaturday: Northeast wind 5 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet. Smooth on intracoastal waters.StandingsOpen class (114 boats, 60 weighed fish)1. 62.33 pounds, Tuppen’s/Garmin, Steve Sprague2. 39.60, Auggy One Marcus Davila3. 34.45, Blue Brothers, Jason Sonnenberg4. 31.90, Raymarine/Strike Two, Rob Lupola5. 31.88, Fast Break, Danny Marsocci6. 31.74, Longshot, Sammy Perkins7. 31.33, Team Tito’s, John Jackson8. 29.36, Hooked On Old School, Ronald Kien9. 29.01, Seapremacy, Alex Burgess10. 26.65, Bottom Line, Reid MacySmall boat class (43 boats, 13 weighed)1. 49.52, Reel Thrill/Bone Suckin’ Sauce, Vaughn Ford2. 31.85, Blondie, James McNab Jr.3. 29.95, Amanda Gail, David LucasSingle engine class (17 boats, 10 weighed)1. 18.64, G-Force, Jason Gell2. 18.48, Flight Risk, Brad Sauers3. 17.24, Team Bandit, Vernon BonnellFor complete standings, go to www.fishska.com.© © 2016 Journal Media Group, source Newspapers

Source: