UPCOMING EVENT: FLW SERIES - 2020 - Toledo Bend Lake

Team East Coast Sports grabs Kingfish Tour lead

Team East Coast Sports grabs Kingfish Tour lead
Chris Gaddy of team East Coast Sports proudly displays the team's first-place catch weighing 35 pounds, 1 ounce. The team currently leads the FLW Kingfish Tour event at Sarasota.

SARASOTA, Fla. - Heading into the first Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour event of the 2008 season, plenty of seasoned anglers had predicted that the leaderboard would feature a host of 40-pound-plus catches. However, stiff winds and high seas ensured that those weights would not materialize - at least not after the first day of competition.

In fact, when all was said and done, only one team cracked the 29-pound mark - East Coast Sports. Buoyed by a catch of 35 pounds, 1 ounce, the team easily out-distanced the rest of the field to capture the opening-round lead.

"We certainly didn't think we'd be in first place with the weight we had so we're pretty pleased right now," said East Coast Sports Capt. Randall Edens of Hampstead, N.C. "We're expecting to see some 40-pound catches today. We didn't even think we had 35 pounds today. When we caught our fish, we guessed it was in the 28- to 30-pound range. So we're tickled to death right now."

Despite the strong finish, Team East Coast Sports had an inauspicious start to the day.

"About 90 miles into our run our trim tab broke," said Edens. "When that trim tab went down we're very concerned we weren't going to be able to get to our spot. But the team worked hard and eventually we got it fixed. It cost us about 20 minutes but we're very determined. Once we have a gameplan in place, we don't like to change it."

Edens said his team targeted kingfish trolling a combination of blue runners, ribbon fish, cigar minnows and mullets. But even though they caught their best fish early, despite the rough seas, the team took advantage of the rest of the afternoon to keep on fishing.

"We caught our big fish at around 11 a.m. but we kept fishing the rest of the day," said Edens. "We left our first spot around 1:30 and fished our second spot from about 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. Overall, we probably made a 300-mile roundtrip today."

Like the rest of the field, the weather conditions took their toll on East Coast Sports as well.

"We ran a long way to get our fish," said team member Chris Gaddy. "It was pretty rough out there. I think we might have to go back to that same spot tomorrow. But I hate thinking of making that run again."

However, Edens said that the team has no definitive gameplan in place as of right now.

"We're going to have to look at the weather to see what we'll do tomorrow," he said. "This is a team effort. And we're going to talk things over tonight and decide as a team what to do tomorrow."

Team Loose Lucy nabs second

On the strength of a 28-pound, 8-ounce catch, Team Loose Lucy, captained by Mike Kaminsky of Charleston, S.C., finished the day in the runner-up position.

"It was challenging this morning," said Loose Lucy team member Susan Kaminsky. "We didn't get to go where we wanted to go, but we still got a decent sized fish. If we can get 5 or 10 more pounds tomorrow, we should be in good shape."

Ultimately the team managed a 100-mile one way run south, targeting kingfish with a combination of blue runners and google eyes.

"Tomorrow, we'll probably do the same thing we did today, but we're also going to have to see what the weather conditions will allow us to do," said Kaminsky.

Team Hocus-Pocus nets third

Using a catch of 27 pounds, 13 ounces, Team Hocus-Pocus captained by John Hardie of Jacksonville, Fla., finished the day in third place.

"We found a spot inside (Sunshine Skyway) that was pretty good and we went with what we could do. We didn't want to get beat to death today," said Capt. John Hardie. "We're pretty proud of the fish we caught today."

Given the early forecasts of significant winds for Saturday's competition, Hardie said the team probably wouldn't deviate much from today's gameplan.

"We'll probably be close to the same spot tomorrow," said Hardie, whose team managed a 40-mile one-way trip during today's competition. "But we're going to have to pay close attention to what that (weather) front is doing.

Best of the rest

Capt. Quint Higdon of team Buck Wild finished the Sarasota Kingfish Tour event in fourth place.Team Buck Wild produced a 27-pound, 8-ounce catch which was good enough for a fourth-place finish after today's competition.

"We caught two fish all day and they were both 2 to 3 pounds of each other," said Capt. Quint Higdon of Pensacola, Fla., who is fishing on the Kingfish Tour for the first time this year. "And those two fish were caught within 5 minutes of each other. After that, the bite really shut off."

Team Kellogg's/Reel Krazy rounded out the top-five Kingfish Tour teams with a total catch of 27 pounds, 6 ounces.

Saturday's takeoff begins 6:30 a.m. Eastern time at the Hyatt Regency on Sarasota Bay located at 1000 Boulevard of the Arts in Sarasota, Fla.

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2008-05-16-sarasota 

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