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Thursday, 15 March 2012 05:42

Rookie Takes Fort by Storm

Written by Pat Horrigan
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Rookie Takes Fort by Storm Photograph byPat Horrigan

Preston Gay got up in the early morning of March 10. It was just like any day, except this was the morning of his first Kayak Fishing ClassicS tournament. In fact, it was Preston’s first tournament ever, so the butterflies were buzzing around to keep him company. He prepared to go fishing the best he knew how. Little did he know the day’s events would unfold in his favor and he would “Take the Fort by Storm”.

Preston launched his assault on Fort De Soto at daybreak. as the rising sun revealed cloudy skies and ominous-looking morning. Once under way, his nervousness subsided and he got down to the business at hand - trying to catch a snook, a redfish and a trout in the Billy’s Stonecrab Fort De Soto Classic. The snook proved to be elusive for all of the contestants. Preston pushed on to catch a 25.5”redfish and a 19” trout. His combined length & score of 44.5 was enough to claim his first victory, as the young man took the Fort by storm and introduced himself to the ClassicS.

Clearly comfortable on the number one podium, Preston could not hold all of the gear that the ClassicS’ numerous and generous sponsors bestowed upon him in celebration of his win. “It was overwhelming and surprising as the gear just kept coming.” Congratulations, Preston Gay, and we‘re sure we will be hearing from you again.

The competition was very close, as it is in the ClassicS. William Lusk marched on the Fort for a total of 42.4 and a solid second place finish. He managed to fool his catch on MirrOlure lures using a Deep South rod. William is no stranger to the ClassicS podium, and it was great to see him standing there struggling to hold his plunder our sponsors provided. The amiable young angler was all smiles, clearly happy with his return to the Top Five in the Fort De Soto Classic.

Another veteran of the Fort De Soto battles is master fly angler Bill White, who totaled a score of 39 for a strong third place and a treasure trove of sponsor gear. The disappointing conditions keep the RiverBum flies out of the water as Bill also captured success using MirrOlure lures.

Fort De Soto Classic veteran Marty Meakin pounded the walls for a very close fourth place finish with a score of 37.6, and rose to within two tenths of a point of the series lead. The always helpful angler used a combination of D.O.A. and MirrOlure lures to hoodwink his nice redfish and trout. Marty also enjoyed his share of the nearly $10,000 in sponsor gear and another podium finish. Marty also won the RAILBLAZA Action Photo Award, but that’s another story.

Joe Komyati braved the cannons of the Fort De Soto Classic to capture fifth place with the largest fish of the tournament. Joe won the Bending Branches Big Fish Award with a 25.5” redfish that he caught on a D.O.A. Cal. He followed with a 12”trout also caught on a D.O.A. Cal for a score of 37.5 to earn his share of the sponsor gear. Congratulations, Joe!

Fishing the Fort De Soto Classic is always fun, but many of the anglers found out just how difficult it can be to Take the Fort by Storm. Although the cannons have long been silent, the weather became a factor. While never dangerous, it forced a few contestants off of the water with sea sickness. We congratulate our top five winners and all who braved The Fort. To learn more about the ClassicS, visit us at www.KayakFishingClassicS.com. See you next month in Everglades City for the 10,000 Islands Classic.

Last modified on Thursday, 15 March 2012 05:49

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