Team Flight Plan, skippered by Casey Hunt, proved that big boats can compete against the smaller open fishermen class by being the first big boat to win the coveted Showdown Crown in the Saltwater Showdown held at Asldorf Boat Ramp in Pompano Beach on Saturday.
Flight Plan, a 66-foot Spencer, won the crown after placing third in the Showdown and second in the first two legs of the Pompano Beach Saltwater Fishing Circuit, which are the Saltwater Slam and Shootout. The Crown is awarded to the top team out of all three tournaments.
“We had to move around a lot throughout the day. We slow trolled in about 160 feet of water off of Delray with goggle eyes,” Hunt said.
Tropically Impaired, the 2011 Crown winners skippered by Ryan Tubbs, attempted to defend their title from last year, but the team had a poor finish in the Slam with only one kingfish caught. That slow finish didn’t stop the team from winning another tournament championship, as the team took first place in the Showdown with a total weight of 125.34 pounds and approximately $15,000 in prize money.
Meanwhile, Pro Payroll placed second and won a hefty prize of almost $27,000 for the “Pick-3” Calcutta by catching the heaviest combination of cobia, kingfish and dolphin.
As the third-place team, Flight Plan will be awarded $5,825.
“This title means more to me than any amount of money,” Hunt said. “We proved that the big boats can do it.”
Corey W. Campbell
• Shawn Harvey, who trains at Miami’s Coral Reef Yacht Club, won the U.S. Optimist Dinghy National Championship, which concluded last weekend in Sandusky, Ohio. Harvey topped a fleet of 277 youth sailors to take the title. Sean Brennan, who also trains at Coral Reef, finished third.
• Beginning Monday, Flamingo Marina in Everglades National Park will have pavement repairs to the boat ramps. Boaters might have limited access to Florida Bay and Whitewater Bay through Sept. 1. For more information, call the park at 305-242-7700.