By P. Ross, No Bananas Fishing Reviews
The Results are in from the Kayak Fishing ClassicS, Tampa Bay Redfish Classic and it was a very interesting event to say the least. Friday night, August 23rd, was the Captain’s Meeting hosted by Whiskey Joes Bar & Grill in Tampa and sponsored by Corona Extra Beer. That made for a great meeting with some fantastic food, steak, fish, peg legs and such as well as Corona Beer for all. The meeting focused on special guest Bret Fitzgerald of the Snook Foundation and the Florida Sportsman Magazine.
Captain Pat Horrigan has turned the ClassicS conservation attention to the Gulf Coast snook population and is raising angler awareness of the Snook Watch Program. Bret Fitzgerald spoke with the contestants on Friday evening about the programs efforts to count the number of snook in our waters for scientific research.
The Series Leader, Derick Burgos had tough back to back tournaments but showed his stuff in Tampa on Saturday. Derick quickly realized that conditions were more favorable for fly fishing, even in the remnants of a tropical storm. He laid out a RiverBum crab pattern, about 40 foot cast with his TFO Fly Rod, and was rewarded with a very nice redfish. The target species was measured, photographed, revived and released. A very nice snook followed and was treated the same with the exception of recording the data into the Snook Watch Program. Derricks’ patience paid off again to catch what was the winning redfish to ice the Fly Fishing Division of the ClassicS event and first place overall. The Points that he earned in this event has solidified his position as Series Leader with three more open events to go before the National Championship in November. The leader spotted both fish using Ocean Waves Sunglasses, which he is convinced are the best for sight fishing. Derrick’s partner in this Classic was newcomer Jack Caldwell who landed a beautiful redfish, also on a RiverBum Fly and captured Second Place in the division.
In the Light Tackle Division Chuck Statham had a fantastic slam with three very nice reds and hooked First Place in the division. That’s two in a row for this rising star who advanced to Second Place in the Series Standings. Chuck plans to enter the Fly Fishing Division after winning a new Temple Fork Outfitters Fly Rod. He also won the ‘Rod of the Year’ a TFO Gary Loomis spinning rod.
Second in the Light Tackle Division was also a new comer. Jeremy Davidson only caught one redfish but it was a dandy. He secured second place and was amazed by all of the prizes that he won from the ClassicS generous sponsors. Jeremy got his wish when he won some custom lures from High Roller Lures. In fact, he managed to pull off a double dip by winning the High Roller Custom Lures raffle in support of the Snook Foundation.
New comer, Bryan Sutton also slammed the field with three nice reds to capture Third Place and a trunk full of gear from the ClassicS Sponsors. Bryan has put himself on the Series Board and plans to fish the remaining events.
Contestants entered fish ranged in length from 18.5 to 30 inches which is pretty good considering the conditions. We congratulate the winners and thank all involved who made this a special event so much fun and very competitive. You are invited to view the photos on the ClassicS website.
The next Kayak Fishing ClassicS event is the Ozello Redfish Slam Classic to be hosted by Pecks Old Cove Port in Ozello on Ozello Trail Rd. August 27th & 28th. Captains Meeting is August 27th at 7PM at Pecks and launch kayaks is at Pirate Point on the 28th. All information is on the ClassicS website; www.KayakFishingClassicS.com