Charter boat Twilight is big winner in the Boathouse Summer Slam fishing tournament
Captain and crew aboard the charter boat Twilight took home more than $5,400 in prize money in the second annual Summer Slam fishing tournament at the Boathouse Oyster Bar this week.
With 32 boats competing for more than two months, the tournament wrapped up Sunday with an awards party and shrimp boil at The Boathouse on Tuesday evening.
"It was an extra-long tournament, but we kept it simple with just three species," said Amber Helton, events coordinator and weighmaster for the event that kicked off June 1.
The tournament was limited to red snapper, gag grouper and amberjack. Red snapper had a time limit from June 1 through Aug. 1 for federal boats, and June 1 to July 25 for state and private recreational boats. As for amberjack, their season opened up Aug. 1.
During the 70-day fishing tournament, Helton weighed in 8,199.3 pounds of fish and recorded 896 fish.
There were 22 ways to weigh in and win during the tournament. Boats could register for individual divisions or across the board.
However, the boat that brought in big fish after big fish was the Twilight with Capt. Robert Hill and his crew. Fishing in the federal boat division, they won for the largest red snapper, 28.4 pounds; largest gag grouper, 54.4 pounds; and largest amberjack, 83.2 pounds. They also had the largest gag grouper in the one-day Garbo Championships, a 35.4 pounder.
Capt. Chris Schofield aboard the No Alibi and crew took home $2,740. They had the largest red snapper in the tournament's ladies division at 24 pounds.
The Sea Fix with Capt. Jason Hallmark and Aaron Smith reeled in $1,436. They had the largest red snapper in the Garbo Championships, 16.2 pounds; and the biggest amberjack, 67.2 pounds. They also won in the junior division with a 42.6-pound amberjack.
In the private boat division, Capt. Toye Hill on the Angler won for the largest red snapper, 24.6 pounds. He took home $1,780 in prize money.
Coastline Tree Service with Capt. Guy Santucci won for the largest grouper, 38 pounds. His catch was worth $1,345.
Sea Bandit and Capt. Forrest Dalton had the biggest amberjack in the private division, 49 pounds. They also won for the ladies largest amberjack, 69.2 pounds and they took first in the Pounders Division for a private boat with 428.6 pounds of fish for the tournament.
The Pounders Division was a running tally of fish caught during the tournament. Boats could weigh in two fish per species per trip.
Winning the Pounders for federal boats was the Big John with Capt. Todd Allen at the helm. They weighed in 1,417.8 pounds of fish for the tournament. They also had the biggest snapper caught by a junior, 16.2 pounds, and the largest grouper by a junior, 13.2 pounds. Overall, the Big John took home $1,500.
As for state boats entered, Capt. Jason Rogers on the Great Escape had the largest red snapper, 18 pounds; Capt. Zach Wolfe on the Malia Ann reeled in the biggest grouper, 13 pounds; and Capt. Josh Glidden on the Just Reel won the Pounders with 456.9 pounds of fish.
Capt. Casey Godwin on the Suzie Q had the ladies largest grouper for the tournament, 33.6 pounds.
Total purse for the tournament was $18,735.
According to Helton, the tournament doubled in the number of boat entries as well as the number of participants in the Garbo Championship.
"The community was so giving and supportive and excited to participate with us in the tournament," Helton said.
"We had 23 businesses sponsor in ways that provided tournament swag, big fish prizes and our kid fishing day," she added.