It's that time of year again, Memorial Day Weekend in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and the 8th Annual FishStock event presented by Salt Water Sportsman, Sport Fishing, Marlin, Fly Fishing in Salt Waters magazines, Hellsbay Boatworks, Mercury, GLoomis, Everglades Boats, Penn and the Sunshine Network. After the Kickoff party for the 34th Annual New Smyrna, Daytona Beach Striker tournament Thursday night, there were 53 boats registered for two days of fishing and their chance at $75,000 in cash and prizes. Anglers fishing the Striker Friday and Saturday target tuna, dolphin, wahoo and kingfish to earn points for various categories.
When lines out was called at 5:30 pm, all the boats piled into the docks at the Brannon Center at Riverside Park to weigh their catches. The first weighed fish of the day ended up being the catch of the day. Angler James Markle of Orlando, Florida, fishing aboard Let It Ride, bested a monster 80.8-pound wahoo putting him in the lead in the heaviest wahoo category. There were a considerable number of dolphin weighed Friday and Palm Coast, Florida, angler, Jason Neat who fished on the Sea Genie II, beat the heaviest one of the day that weighed in at 29.3. The tuna bite was slow by normal standards, but Justin Desy of Edgewater, Florida, fishing on the Fog Ducker, weighed a 26.3 pounder that put him in the top position in the tuna category. Some nice king mackerel were weighed, but there weren't any that were able to top Jeff Rodgers of Ormond Beach, Florida's 32.8 he caught fishing on the Virgin Hooker. After day 1, Karen Crabtree of DeLand, Florida, weighed a 24.6-pound kingfish on the Inside Out, which puts her in the lead in the lady angler division. Conner Sikorski's 17.5-pound dolphin puts him in the position of top Junior Angler.
In the top boat division, Roger Markle's wahoo puts Let It Ride in first place. Currently in second place is MisGuided thanks to Tyler Beckford's 22.7-pound dolphin and Tony Huerta's 37-pound wahoo. Connor Sikorski on the Tegemareeb had a good day and weighed 17.5- and 15-pound dolphins. Donnie Sikorski added some points with his 22-pound dolphin, putting team Tegemareeb in third place.
Closer to shore, anglers funneled into the Brannon Center to register and take part in the captains meeting for the 8th Annual Redfish-Trout Challenge. The kickoff for the inshore tournament began Friday at 4:00 pm and ended with rules given by tournament director, Dan Jacobs, during the Redfish-Trout captain's meeting. In the end, 90 boats registered for the event and will set out early Saturday morning for a 5:30 am lines-in call.
Weigh-ins for the Redfish-Trout Challenge begin Friday at 12:00 pm, and weigh-ins for the Striker resume at 4:30 pm. The saltwater fishing festival portion of FishStock, including food, live music, arts and crafts, and KidStock, begins at 10:00am Friday.
34th Annual New Smyrna Beach/Daytona Beach Striker Tournament Day 1 Results
Striker Top Boat Overall - Day 1
1. Let It Ride 80.8 pounds Anglers: Roger Markle, James Markle, Greg Markle, Gary Markle
James Markle, Orlando, Florida, 80.8-pound wahoo
2. MisGuided 59.7 pounds Anglers: Tony Huerta, Melissa Huerta, Taylor Beckford, Tyler Beckford
3. Tegemareeb 54.5 pounds Anglers: Patrick Kollar, Kevin Callahan, Donnie Sikorski, Connor Sikorski, Corrado Gionfriddo
4. Virgin Hooker 54.1 pounds Anglers: Ricky Virgin, Aaron Watson, Donny Testa, Jeff Rodgers, Randy Bearasly
Wahoo - Day 1
1. James Markle, Orlando, Florida 80.8 pounds Let It Ride
2. Tony Huenta 37 pounds MisGuided
Dolphin - Day 1
1. Jason Neat, Palm Coast, Florida 29.3 pounds Sea Genie II
2. Dave Winters 28.6 pounds Legal Eagle
3. Doris Haigh 24.8 pounds Haig-R-Bomb
4. Mary Ann White 24.3 pounds Lady Bart's
King Mackerel - Day 1
1. Jeff Rodgers, Ormond Beach, Florida 32.8 pounds Virgin Hooker
2. Karen Crabtree 24.6 pounds Inside Out
3. Kyle Smith 21.5 pounds Overtime
4. Randy Bearsaly 21.3 pounds Virgin Hooker
Tuna - Day 1
1. Justin Desy, Edgewater, Florida 26.3 pounds Fog Ducker
Lady Angler - Day 1
1. Karen Crabtree, DeLand, Florida 24.6 pounds Inside Out
2. Mary Ann White 24.3 pounds Lady Bart's
3. Corrine Kunkle 22.2 pounds Unleashed
4. Caroline Butler 19.9 pounds Reelin & Chillin
Young Angler - Day 1
1. Wyatt Griffin Jr., Christmas, Florida 16.2 pounds Game Over
2. Connor Sikorski 15 pounds Tegemareeb