The anglers scouted the waters for a few days in the windy conditions and still produced catches and many sightings of huge schools of redfish. Unfortunately the reds had lockjaw during pre-fishing - at least for most.
The long term weather observations at Kayak Fishing ClassicS tournament series indicated very nice conditions for tournament day and that was exactly what anglers got. The wind had been brutal during the two days leading up to the Port Charlotte Classic. Tournament day the anglers were greeted with a fantastic sunrise and 9 kts breeze with small gusts up to 13 kts. The sun was mostly bright all day and the snook, redfish and trout were everywhere…perfect.
Launch time came at safe light and by 8:49 am Otis Coblentz had a significant lead with a 21.8” trout and a big 34.5” snook. He held the lead going into the afternoon but he could not get a redfish to hook up. In fact that was the problem for many anglers. Big reds in the 30” plus range were schooled up in the shallows, head down and tail up munching on something that the anglers could not figure out. Only 6 anglers caught reds all day but nearly all anglers saw the big schools of the taunting, waving one-eyed tails… frustration began to set in.
We watched the KFC iAngler Tournament Leader Board in dismay, wondering when the redfish bite would turn on. I’m glad we didn’t hold our breath on that one in anticipation, however a few anglers were a bit blue in the face at sign in…
The event was hosted by Hurricane Charley’s in Punta Gorda, who put on a nice venue for the Kayak Fishing ClassicS 2nd stop of 2017. Good food and good entertainment, right on the water is always a great combination in Florida…Thanks Bob and we’ll see you next year. Here’s how it all played out;
1st Place William Lusk 25.7” redfish 18.5” trout 29.8” snook for a 74” total
2nd Place Eric Henson 30.7” redfish 18.2” trout 24” snook for a 72.9” total
3rd Place Joe Henary 19.5” redfish 20.5” trout 27.6” snook for a 67.6” total
4th Place David Driscoll 21.5” redfish 16.8” trout 20.5” snook for a 58.8” total
5th Place Otis Coblentz 0” redfish 21.8 trout 34.5” snook for a 56.3” total
The Big Ole Fish award by Bending Branches Paddles was captured by Otis Coblentz with a 34.5” snook for a Bending Branches Angler Pro Paddle and Plaque
ClassicS Masters Calcutta Cash winners $640.00
1st Place William Lusk - $320.00
2nd Place Eric Henson - $192.00
3rd Place Joe Henary - $128.00
DOA Lures, Yo-Zuri, LIVETARGET and Monster 3X lure sponsors all scored heavily this day as well as a few on the chrome spook. The new Owner Hooks setups are catching on for that slow crawl with soft plastics…
Next up for the KFC series is the April 8th Palma Sola/Fort De Soto Classic. Anglers will be fishing for 2 redfish and 2 trout each as the iAngler Tournament App sorts out the biggest fish from the smaller. The weather is going to be fantastic over the next couple of weeks, warming up the waters and turning on the bite. Billy’s Stone Crab in Tierra Verde will host the annual event and we are looking forward to a visit with them at this beautiful water front eatery once again.
We wish to congratulate and thank all of the anglers who fished the Port Charlotte Classic and of course to thank all of our amazing sponsors. Please visit them on our website at www.KayakFishingClassicS.com