SWFKAA members were invited for tournament prefishing and general information at the Tournament Fishing for Dummies seminar, part of the SWFKAA seminar series. Several folks came out to enjoy the morning at the Courtney Campbell Causeway in Tampa. The day started early for me with a 3:30 wake up time for the long drive to Tampa.
I brought my brother in law Joe along. At the ramp we met Esteban (Capt. Blackbeard), Steve (Steve) and Tony (TonyD) and began unloading our gear. We were soon joined by Jennifer (sunsetkayaker) and Drew (uno mas) and his son Micha. The eight of us were soon launching into northern Tampa Bay.
The wind was light and the water was almost flat. We crossed the channel onto the flats and began our hunt. It didn’t take long to find fish as Jennifer hooked up with some trout. Steve had a good run on a big redfish before the red freed himself. Joe and I ran the outer flats in a little deeper water where I caught the only two reds of the day, and Joe found several nice flounder. All too soon, the morning was over and we headed in for lunch as Whiskey Joe’s.
The next morning several of us launched from the Gandy Bridge for the tournament. The fish of the day was the puffer fish. Everyone was catching them on every lure imaginable. I was a little luckier and stayed away from them. Fishing the Gandy proved a little tougher and I didn’t see a redfish the entire day. I did manage to catch more over-slot trout than I ever have in one day. There were seven between 22” to 27” long.
At the weigh-in Capt. Pat Horrigan, the series Tournament Director, told us about the new streamlined regulations of the series, as well as a few new things to come. We enjoyed lunch as the top 5 anglers went to the podium to collect their share of some great prizes. On the long ride home I reflected on how lucky we are to live in such a great place for fishing and how lucky I am to have met so many nice people and fished so many places. On to the next tournament!