Throughout most of the day, the team of Miss Britt held the lead with six releases in the Sailfish Kickoff, but a late afternoon bite gave J’s Crew a one-release lead.
Seven releases isn’t a record, but when the overall expectation of conditions was poor and turned favorable, that is all a fisherman needs.
“All week the weather looked bad,” tournament director Tony Albelo said. “The winds changed and the guys were able to get their kites up and everyone is really excited.
“That is why it is so quiet here at the dock party. Everyone is getting ready for [Sunday].”
The Kickoff brings in some of the top pro anglers in the world and there are 31 teams that released 74 sails on the first day of fishing.
Out of seven anglers with three releases, Stephanie Choate, the top female angler, was the first day’s top angler by time.
The teams of Miss Britt and High Stakes each have six releases and are in second and third places, respectively.
The crew of Liquid caught the largest fun fish of the day a 26-pound wahoo. Team Sandman brought in a 24-pound king and a 10-pound tuna.
• Opening-day results by division (100 points per release): Big boat — Miss Britt 600, High Stakes 600, Sandman 5, Asain Pearl 400, Showtime 400, No Problem 400, Jichi 300. Big boat individual — Stephanie Choate 300, Dave Wimberly 300, Nick Cordella 300, Jose Perdomo 300, Andy Moyes 200, Robbie Buckley 200, Sandra Macmillan 200. Small boat — J’s Crew 700, Priceless 500, Forever Young 500, Silent Hunter 500, Rock Star 500, Utopia 400, El Capitan 400. Small boat individual — JP Larsen 300, James Cleary 300, Jeronimo Esteve 300, BJ Meyer 200, Nelson Torres 200, Marcello Pares 200, Jessie Garcia 200.
Corey W. Campbell
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, meeting last week in Apalachicola, moved forward with possible “sport fish” and “game fish” designations for some saltwater recreational species. Commissioners said the “game fish” designation would mean no commercial harvest or sale and “sport fish” would mean catch-and-release only, with no commercial or recreational possession or sale. They removed a proposed requirement that designated fish could only be caught with hook and line gear and they eliminated from the “game fish” definition a prohibition on charter captains and crews being counted in the bag limit. No candidate fish have been proposed for either category; that is expected to come at later meetings. Meanwhile, the commission will conduct webinars from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Wednesday at http://fwc.adobeconnect.com/mfm/ to gather public input. Comments also can be sent via email to marine@myFWC.com. Anyone without a computer may call 850-617-9627 to participate in the webinar.