Only one point separated the top two boats in a fleet of 54 competing in the newly reformatted Yamaha Contender Miami Sport Fishing Tournament Saturday in Miami Beach.
The five-person crew on Eren’s Addiction Too, owned by Jack Bracewell of Summerville, South Carolina, weighed three kingfish and three cobia and released three sailfish for a total of 183.6 points, good for more than $39,350. The six-person crew on Daryl Deka’s Doing It All weighed three kingfish and three blackfin tuna and released three sailfish for 182.6 points and $9,150.
Both teams fished between Boca Raton and Boynton Beach inlets using live baits on kites, flat lines and deep lines. Both said they spent more time catching bait than actually fishing.
The crew aboard First Choice came in third with 172.16 points, followed by fourth-place Covered Up with 153. Thomas Flyer was fifth with 150.8.
Formerly called the Miami Billfish Tournament, the competition was reduced from two days to one this year and focused on the fun-fish categories of dolphin, tuna, wahoo, cobia and kingfish — awarding one point per pound. Each sailfish release was worth 15 points, with a maximum of three releases per team.
“It’s a lot more competitive because you don’t have eight or 16 professional sailfish teams that have a pretty good edge over everyone,” Thomas Flyer captain Jimbo Thomas said. “The average guy could still win.”
The top angler was James David, 16, fishing on his family’s boat Frick & Frack. Debbie Morrell on Bar Bill was top female.
Chris Carpenter on Team FineAwards.com1 caught the heaviest kingfish, a 41.7-pounder. The heaviest tuna weighed 32 pounds from Keith McDonald on Covered Up. Jon Hoffman’s 27.2-pound dolphin was the biggest of that species caught aboard Instinct. Bracewell had the top cobia at just over 26 pounds.
▪ A fleet of 85 sailboats competed in the Miami-Key Largo Race Saturday. Eric Roberts’ Dream On, an RC 30 multihull, was first across the finish line in just over three hours. The first monohull was Main Squeeze, skippered by Mark Kamilar in 6:04:52.