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April 18, 2007

2007 World Sailfish Championship

Daily updates from our man in the field Capt. Ted Lund

Capt. Ted is down in Key West covering the 2007 World Sailfish Championship. Keep checking back here at SportFishingMag.com as we bring you regular updates of tournament happenings.


Day 3 and Final Results

 

Well, the last day was a tough one for Team Spindrift. Again we fished great, had the kites flying and the goggle-eyes treading water behind us - all to no avail. We did see several free-jumping fish within range of our spread, but never even a bite.

For Ray Rosher on the Get Lit, however, it was a different story. Rosher and teammates Kitt Toomey, Jon Cooper, Peter Miller, Claudio Martinez and Kelly Mayo keyed in on a color change east of Key West - almost to Marathon - to capture five fish and end the tournament with a 14-fish total worth $100,000 and first place.

The Steel Magnolia took second place with 13 releases, followed by Sea Wolf with 12.

Rosher, who said the sails were all caught on a mixture of mostly goggle-eyes and threadfin, credited the win to the team's longtime fishing partnership and ability to capitalize on every bite.

"It's always kind of a challenge to be in the right area and make the most of your bites," he said. "One without the other is not good enough, and they (his anglers) just made 'em count."

This year's WSC attracted 110 boats which released 538 sails over three days of fishing.

Tournament dates for next year are April 16-19, 2008. For more information, visit www.worldsailfish.com.


World Sailfish Championship Final Results
Boat; Anglers and Hometowns; Captain; Releases

1. Get Lit; Christopher (Kitt) Toomey, Jon Cooper, Claudio Martinez, Peter Miller and Kelly Mayo of Miami; Captain Ray Rosher; 14.

2. Steel Magnolia; Pat Roberts, Austin Roberts and Pam Roberts of Tallahassee, Madison Roberts of Key Largo, Mike Causely, Ron Crisp and Kym Graham of Homestead and Mike Green of Miami; Captain Greg Graham; 13.

3. Sea Wolf; Chad Jackson of Fort Myers, Fla., Jim Brown of North Fort Myers, Gerry Waser of Jupiter, Fla., Jeff Williams of Alva, Fla., and Dan Flynn and Travis Upchurch of Islamorada, Fla.; Captain Sam Milazzo; 12.

 

 


 

Day Two and Lay Day

It's 4 a.m., and I am sitting here on the front of the console of the 34 Yellowfin Spindrift. Just got the order of goggle-eyes for the last day of fishing in the WSC at 3 a.m. and am getting ready to head back to the condo before getting rolling.

Day two was uneventful for us. Despite being in and around fish that were being caught, we didn't get a bite (from a sailfish at least), and with BIG money on the line, that's really the only thing that matters.


Fishing conditions have been tough, but I've been going over the latest Roff's report, and it looks like there is a good edge of green/blended blue water up to the east and I think that's where we're going to go.

Yesterday (Friday) was the lay day for the tournament, and the folks at Keys Caribbean (formerly Cortex) had a fantastic cocktail party at the site of their new development on the harbor (Harbor House). The event featured Johnny Bench as a celebrity emcee in what turned out to be an iron-chef cook-off between students from Key West High School's Culinary Arts Program. It turned out to be a real hoot, and the kids churned out several delectable dishes based around a Keys' staple - fresh conch.

Thus far, we've only caught two fish, getting blanked on day two. Hopefully, day three will be a different story. We're here, getting ready to go. If we could catch six or seven fish (which is very doable), it could save the whole tournament for us, with serious money in the daily side bets.

To learn more about Harbor House or King's Point Marina, visit www.cortexcompanies.com. They have some really cool properties up and down the Keys, including a new development in Islamorada called the Angler's Club. We hope to get there soon.


Feeling Small

It is amazing how small a 34-foot boat can become when you lose a fish that might be worth upwards of $500,000. That was exactly the place I found myself in when I inadvertently wrapped the 20-pound monofilament around the base of the spool and in the spindle of a spinning reel today. It was the second of three fish that we hooked in the $100,000 World Sailfish Championship. I've fed fish like that hundreds of times before and really have no explanation for it. It really just sucks. It's an incredible feeling of letting your teammates down. Fortunately, they (Brian Gracie and Ken Lippman of New Salem, N.Y.) were very patient. We caught and released two sails, but my fish would have made it three, putting us a quad out of contention for first place in this three-day event. That's hard. Hopefully, we'll rebound tomorrow. I did have the chance, however, to learn some great new kite-fishing techniques from my buddy and captain Robert "RT" Trosset. I hope to detail those in the next couple of days. Pretty slick stuff.

I am awaiting the current results from the tournament via director Mike Wienhoffer. As soon as I get them, I'll post them, but unofficially, it looks like the boat Seawolf is in first place with seven fish. A total of 168 fish (unofficial) were caught on a day of virtually flat-calm weather - not classic sailfishing conditions. I can tell you based on my experiences trying to find kite balloons and helium here on the island city - kites are the key!


Getting Ready

It's 4:30 in the morning, and I just got back from securing our goggle-eyes from bait catcher Lee Robinson (305-393-0206).  With so much money on the line, it's well worth the $100-per-dozen going rate for goggle eyes, even though they aren't my preferred bait for sails. We've also got a mix of thread herring, blue runners and large pilchards.

The wind is dead calm, and it looks like it will be a beautiful day for anything - except for sailfishing. I'm writing this from the living room of my luxurious, three-bedroom, three-bath condo at the Coral Hammock development in Key West. It is an opulent base for a tournament (the $100,000 World Sailfish Championship) that prides itself on wretched excess. The gated condominium townhouse community was developed by the folks at Keys Caribbean, a Cortex Company. If you are ever looking for a vacation rental, check them out at www.keysluxuryresorts.com.

Last night was the captains' meeting, and more than 800 anglers and captains from a field of 135 boats (still waiting on the official numbers) were treated to a fantastic cocktail party and fly-over by a pair of U.S. Navy F-18s. Tournament director Mike Weinhofer gave a dissertation on the rules, and then the side bets began. Estimates for the total value of winning the tournament range upward of $750,000. Time to get underway and, hopefully, catch some fish - edging toward that top prize. Stay tuned.

- Capt. Ted Lund

Tournament chair Mike Weinhoffer goes through the rules with more than anglers at the kickoff of the World Sailfish Championship.(left) / World-class travel consultant Merijo Attong works the Casa Vieja booth, representing one of the finest Guatemalan sailfish destinations.(right)