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2014 Saltwater Shootout Has Epic Bite, Just Not for SKA Anglers!

By Patrick Farrell

Pompano Beach, FL — When the sun rose off the shore of Pompano Beach and over 120 boats lined up out of Hillsboro Inlet for the Bimini start of the 2014 Mercury/SeaVee Saltwater Shootout, no one knew just how intense the bite was to be. When it was all said and done, nearly 14,000 pounds of fish were weighed at the 18th annual event. Fourteen thousand pounds! Part of a three-event circuit, this was the first leg of the Pompano Beach Saltwater Shootout. Although the wind was blowing, the participants managed to break several tournament records.

A lot of the SKA teams hit the throttles with bows pointed north as they rode troughs trying to be first to their chosen destination. “It wasn’t that bad, just made you a little uncomfortable,” one team member quipped after returning back to the weigh-in dock.

While most teams ran either north or south, one team in a small single engine fishing boat named Rush Roll Off, followed Jamie Bunn’s advice at the captain’s meeting. “Reports we’ve seen say the fish are right out front off Pompano,” he told the large crowd. They stayed and put the biggest king of the event on the scales—a super 59.80. Later in the afternoon a 59.50 hit the scales, but I never heard where she came from.

Over the past 16 years, tournament producer Jamie Bunn with lots of help from his family and a great crew, has successfully grown these events to produce some of the best tournaments in held in South Florida each year.  This is the sixth year that the SKA has sanctioned two of these exciting tournaments – and one not to be missed in Division 10.

At the Shootout, the total weight of your ten fish (king mackerel, tuna, dolphin, wahoo, and cobia) determines the overall winner. However, no more than four fish of the same species can be weighed, making it a difficult decision and lots of fun! This year’s Shootout had a purse in excess of $275,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs. The top Kingfish brought to the scales from an SKA team came from Leon Wilcox’s Native Premonitions, a nice 48.90, which was good for fifth. Floyd Miller, fishing the Reel Anarchy, captured eleventh in the category with a 41.40 king.

Marcus Davila, fishing on the Auggy One, won the Wahoo division with a 35.79.

“This tournament always produces some big fish,” says Jim Butler, SKA Director of Operations. “I thought Jamie and his crew did a fantastic job with the tournament, and although they didn’t place in the top  10 our Division 10 guys showed up and performed.”

The overall winner with a ten-fish aggregate of 252.70 points (pounds) was Makin Time / Living Water. Tenth place was more than 40 pounds lighter at 211.20. None were SKA teams. The best we did was eleventh place earned by the Reel Anarchy team of Floyd Miller, Ryan Lee, and Gill and Chase Strelec.

So there you have it, 28 SKA teams fished the event this year, and not counting the juniors, earned only three of the 36 ways to win. Certainly not our best showing but nothing to be ashamed of either.

This was a fantastic event thanks to Jamie Bunn and his crew who produce this truly incredible event. They went out of their way to make us feel welcomed, and we urge Division 10 to put The Mercury/SeaVee Pompano Beach Saltwater Shootout on their calendars for next year. “The fishing was truly incredible,” said Mr. Bunn. “If you want some of the hottest fishing action on the east coast of Florida, you need to come fish these tournaments!” Well said, Jamie. Hopefully our guys will have better luck on the second leg of the series June 5-8. This party will be one for the books with a promised costume contest and a talent show for some great prizes. If you’ve never fished any of the PBSC tournaments before and would like to sign up for the chance to fish the Saltwater Slam for free, go to the SKA Schedule and contact the Saltwater Slam for details. See you on the trail!


Open Class

59.801. Rush Rolloff
59.502. Double Down
53.703. Makin Time/Living Water
49.404. Get R Wet
Contender / Mercury
Leon Wilcox
Joe Fulner
Michael Stokes

SKA Top Junior Anglers
41.401. Chase Strelec
40.102. Stevie Papia
23.503. Christopher Sprague

Mercury Marine Junior Angler Scholarship Winner
Stevie Papia

Top Wahoo
23.081. Reel Blue

Top Dolphin
23.931. KEN HARRIS

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