The party started on Thursday January 23, 2014 at Brus Room in Pompano Beach, FL. It was a full house; among the crowd were the registered anglers, along with many more fishermen who had participated in past EKFT events who came to show their support. Everyone chowed down on free triple threat wings and cold beer while telling fishing stories, in anticipation of the extreme weekend ahead. The raffle at the kickoff party was memorable, with the main prize being a Hobie “Revolution 13”, worth $2,000, from main sponsor Nautical Ventures. Also given away were fish bags from ENGEL Coolers, Tigress kites, and awesome Yak Gear merchandise.
Saturday’s dawn could not come fast enough as the anxious anglers gathered at the launch site by the Pompano Beach Pier. All bundled up on a chilly morning as they got ready for an epic day, the fishermen were greeted with hot coffee and donuts compliments of Dandee Donuts. The shotgun start at 7am had the anglers racing into the clear blue water.
Chris Thomas from Tulsa, OK with the first fish of the day
“Oklahoma is hooked up!” came the voice over the VHF radios. The help boat rushed to the location to document the catch. Manning the safety boat were: Joe from Hillsboro Inlet, who provided live baits; Jose from Aces Bait and Tackle; and the organizer of the event, Joe Hector, with judge Rick Hector. Sure enough, Chris Thomas from Tulsa, OK had the first fish on at 9:15am. in about 200’ of water. The safety boat had just enough time to document and safely release the sailfish before another excited radio call: “Oklahoma 2”! Another sail was caught just about an hour later by Ryan Jones, who made the trip from Oklahoma with Chris for the tournament. The shocker was that neither Chris nor Ryan had ever fished offshore from a kayak! Marcos Baldo was the last man to enter the water in the morning, and he was last to hook up on his sailfish at 12:42pm.
Ryan Jones hooks up about an hour after fellow Oklahoman Chris Thomas
Marcos Baldo with the last the last hookup of the day
The awards ceremony was held Sunday, January 26 at Sea Side Grill in Pompano Beach. Chris Thomas was the champion! He was awarded a gorgeous glass trophy, $3,000 cash (donated by Turbo USA), Costa Del Mar sunglasses, and a beautiful custom sailfish rod from Blue Marlin Chronicles. Ryan Jones was runner-up, and ecstatic to be driving back to Oklahoma City with a plaque from Crown Trophy, $1,000 cash, Costas, and a handsome sailfish necklace from Guy Harvey Jewelry. Marcos Baldo finished third, and received a plaque, $500 cash, and Costa sunglasses. All three winners also walked away with a pro team EKFT jacket.
From left to right, Chris Thomas 1st, Ryan Jones 2nd, and Marcos Baldo 3rd
The Oklahoma men defeated the local champs in EKFT’s first Sailfish Smack Down, teaching everyone a valuable lesson. It does not matter what state you are from; you can be an Extreme champion!
Visit www.extremekayakfishing.com for all the events going on in 2014 and so much more!