UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Norman

Team Mutual Fun wins Kingfish Series event

Team Mutual Fun wins Kingfish Series event
Team Mutual Fun, headed by John Akers of Duluth, Ga., won the April 28 FLW Kingfish Series Gulf Coast Division event in Sarasota, Fla., and $30,000 cash. The top prize included $9,000 bonuses from Hydra-Sports and Yamaha.

SARASOTA, Fla. - Team Mutual Fun, headed by John Akers of Duluth, Ga., caught a kingfish weighing 28 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series Gulf Coast Division event in Sarasota, Fla., and $30,000 cash. The top prize included $9,000 bonuses from Hydra-Sports and Yamaha.

Akers - along with teammates Phil Voelkel of Indianapolis, Jason Capra of Palm Harbor, Fla., and Don Amsden of Lafayette, Ind. - slow-trolled live baits over hard bottom in 45 feet of water 15 miles southwest of Sarasota. Prior to the tournament, the winners had spent several days on the water. Their homework paid off with 11 kingfish Saturday.

"We located (the winning) spot while we were prefishing earlier this week and found plenty of kingfish and bait, so we returned to it today," said Akers. "We caught fish all day. Without a doubt, prefishing was the key for us. We were very confident on where we were going."

The team's biggest kingfish ate a live blue runner on a downrigger at 11:45 a.m. Voelkel fought the fish and Capra gaffed it after a surprisingly brief fight.

"We actually got him in really quickly," Akers said. "The fish was hooked cleanly, Jason got a clean gaff shot on it, and we put it in the box quickly for a fish that size."

Team Mutual Fun had fished another sport earlier and caught a 20-pound fish. Comfortable that they had secured a "points" fish for the seasonal standings, they decided to move to another spot and try for a larger fish.

"We had just moved to the new spot when we got our big fish," Akers said. "After we had set the downriggers out, we were setting the flat lines and the downrigger popped."

Teams fished under partly cloudy skies with 2- to 3-foot seas. Akers described the morning conditions as "a little sloppy," but said that his boat provided a stable platform from which to work. "It was a little (rough), but we were fishing a new 29-foot Hydra-Sports, and the boat handled very well."

Rounding out the top five teams were Team Baitmaster, captained by Robert Aylesworth of St. Petersburg, Fla. (26 pounds, 8 ounces, $663 plus $1,215 Hydra-Sports bonus); Team Julie Marie, captained by Randall Sanderbeck of Seminole, Fla. (26 pounds, 1 ounce, $442 plus $810 Seaswirl bonus); Team Thunder 1, captained by Keith Britts of Largo, Fla. (25 pounds, 8 ounces, $331 plus $439 Hydra-Sports bonus and $439 Yamaha bonus); and Team Kora, captained by Tim Roush of Jacksonville, Fla. (24 pounds, 7 ounces, $221 plus $405 Hydra-Sports bonus and $405 Yamaha bonus).

Teams caught 18 kingfish Saturday weighing 362 pounds, 6 ounces.

Jared Fuller placed 15th with a 15-pound, 11-ounce kingfish as a member of Team Fishing Dreams to earn the tournament's award for the highest-finishing competitor under 16 years old.

The award for highest-finishing woman went to Cindi Roush, who placed fifth with a 24-pound, 7-ounce kingfish as a member of Team Kora.

FLW Kingfish Series qualifying tournaments are one-day events. Each team is allowed to weigh in one kingfish, and the winning team is determined by the heaviest fish. The next FLW Kingfish Series Gulf Coast Division event will be held May 19 in Tierra Verde, Fla.

The FLW Kingfish Series consists of five divisions - East Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina-Georgia, Gulf and Upper Gulf. Each division is comprised of three events with a $100,000 purse for each event. The top three teams from each tournament and the top 16 teams (who are not already qualified) from each division after all qualifiers are complete will advance to the three-day, $275,000 no-entry-fee Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series Championship in Orange Beach, Ala., Oct. 4-6, which will be featured in a one-hour episode of "FLW Outdoors" broadcast to 80 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) households in the United States and more than 429 million households in Europe, Asia and Africa. The points champion from each division will also advance directly to the $500,000 no-entry-fee Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour Championship in Biloxi, Miss., Nov. 2-4, where they will compete against top FLW Kingfish Tour teams for a top award of $150,000.

Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 241 events in 2007.

Wal-Mart and many of America's largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world's leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Walmart.com.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.

Tags: press-release  2007-04-28-sarasota-fl 

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