"Shine" Takes the First Leg!



Thursday Report:

THURSDAY REPORT: OK sorry for not posting anything last night, but when you cross the Atlantic Ocean, you seem to get a bit tired. Now on to the report. I will try to keep this as plug-free as possible.
After picking up a few last-minute lures and supplies at Crook & Crook, we left the Monty's dock at 9am sharp. Behind us was the our beautiful city; ahead of us was 50 miles of treacherous seas and unforgiving weather. Ok, it wasn't that bad, at least not when you are on a Mercury-Powered Sea Vee. Once we hit the Gulfstream, we buttoned up our Gill foul weather gear, downed a quick Miller Lite, and pressed on. 

We headed to Cat Cay (a little SE of regular course) to ride in the troughs. We trolled up to Bimini and picked off a 30-pounder. Later, we checked in the team, reviewed the rules, and gave out the swag (and beat off the freeloaders).

FRIDAY REPORT: Today was the first day of fishing. The teams headed out into what was supposed to be nasty conditions. Almost as nasty as Janet Jackson circa 1986. But in reality it was quite nice out. My crew headed out from noon to 3pm for some light fishing (that's what we call it when we don't catch anything), and we did not get a drop of water on us.We hoped the teams fishing fared better than us.And they did. Here are some photos from today's weigh-in:

SHINE with a nice 33-pounder. They are in 1st place.

 

HIT THAT! with the top fish of day 1, a 42-pounder. They are in 3rd place, with the heaviest single fish.

Second place in the tournament, first place in alcohol consumed, AIRBORNE:

To close today's report I leave you with this photo of the Ocean Alley crew who says "Why can't interracial relationships work like this for everyone?"



FINAL REPORT:
Once again, I am amazed at how wrong NOAA can be. My boat, a 32 Sea Vee fished most of Friday without getting one drop of water on us. The conditions were great; not the 10-12 foot seas NOAA predicted. Today, Sunday we crossed from Bimini to Miami in 2 hours. That's our normal time. It amazes me how off the forecast can be. I digress.

Fishing on Saturday was red hot. All the teams caught over 10 wahoo each. As the fish hit the scales, all eyes were on the tight race for first place. "Shine" weighed in some nice fish on day 2, several of them improved their total weight. "Airborne" also did some good fishing as all of their fish were an improvement over Friday's weights. Everyone knew it was going to be close - too close to call. The teams begged us to reveal the winner, but we could not. We had to enter all the weights and double check the data. Once all the numbers were computed, the margin of victory was only .85 of a pound! And the winner was 
"Shine" with a combined weight of 116.15. Second place was "Airborne" and "HIt That!" took third and also won for the heaviest wahoo of the tournament.

The ambiance and camaraderie in these tournament is second to none. The teams all hang out together and have a great time. And this leg was no different. We got to hang out with some great people and we all had a blast. If you are looking for an all around-great time and competitive fishing, check out the second leg of the Challenge in Port Lucaya.

We leave you with one photo and the phrase of the weekend "I got my drinking shoes on!"

 

Sea Vee/Mercury Mayor's Cup FYI Sailfish Kickoff Bahamas Wahoo Challenge Sea Vee/Mercury Grove SLAM! Yamaha/Contender Kingfish Masters King Of Bimini Dewar's 12 Billfish Championship