25 Anglers traveled from across the Gulf Region to fish the famous Mosquito Lagoon to try their skills at landing the bull redfish and gator trout that the lagoon is famous for in February as the mature fish school up. Conditions were perfect all week and it looked like an epic day was about to happen. The sunrise greeted the anglers and white pelicans…all hungry for fish.
It always impresses me just how good the anglers who follow the Kayak Fishing ClassicS tournament series really are. The talent pool consisted of some of the best Gulf Region anglers and a few new anglers who enjoy stiff competition and are not afraid of near-legendary reputations…I like that.
The Classic was hosted by our friends at Goodrich Seafood & Oyster House in Oak Hill, Florida which is right next to a great launch point. A dozen or so anglers launched there at 7am, the rest used various approved launches…everyone has a plan on game day.
I watched the anglers paddle away as the pelicans fished their wake in the early morning sun. As I entered Goodrich, I knew that it wouldn’t be long until the iAngler Tournament scoring system lights up our leader board with entry photos. Twenty minutes and a cup of coffee later I was busy reviewing catches. We were off to a great start for the 2017 series year at one of the best places to be if you like catching.
Around 9:15 a northern breeze kicked in and continued to build. By 10 am there were some white caps which quickly calmed to a chop. That, of course, took sight fishing out of the game for most - unless they were fortunate enough to spot tails. The fishing slowed but was steady. However, many hopes of a perfect day were dashed…that’s fishing.
Like I said, there was a lot of talent on the water. These anglers know how to handle this and kept landing fish. Let's take a look at how the Top Five anglers did in this 2 redfish & 2 trout event:
5th Place Cody Boland 3 fish 53.3” total
4th Place Marvin Engle 3 fish 59.6” total
3rd Place Dane Watt 3 fish 60.1” total (first ever tournament)
2nd Place Charles Hughes 4 fish 61.7” total
1st Place Pepi Vidal 4 fish 70” total
The wind and approaching cold front put the big reds and trout down and small reds became a premium that also proved to be tough. Connor Jones had a good day, but did not make weigh in on time.
Bending Branches Big Ole Fish went to Dustin Bragman with a 27” redfish. Enjoy the Bending Branches paddle, Dustin!
ClassicS Masters Calcutta Payout
1st Place Pepi Vidal $275.00
2nd Place Charles Hughes $165.00
3rd Place Dustin Bragman $110.00
The Top Five anglers received sponsor gear packages from Bending Branches, Backwater Paddles, Denali Performance, DO A Lures, Flying Fisherman Sunglasses, LIVETARGET Lures, MirrOlures, Monster 3X Lures, Princeton Tec, Pro-Cure, RiverBum Flies, Scotty, Skwoosh, Stealth Products, Steve Whitlock, YakGear, Yo-Zuri Lures, FINS.
Our sponsors and the Kayak Fishing ClassicS congratulate all of the angles and we will see you March 11 at our Pine Island Classic. Please us and thank your sponsors at www.KayakFishingClassicS.com