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Division: 8 Ft. Pierce, Florida FORT PIERCE SUMMER SLAM August 22-23, 2014

Spiced Rum III Repeats Ft. Pierce Summer Slam Title

By Christine Rodenbaugh

Ft. Pierce, Florida — Last year everyone thought it would take better than 50 pounds to win the Ft. Pierce Summer Slam and Spiced Rum III answered the call with a 52.29. Fast forward to 2014 and Bill Wummer’s team of Sherri and Wayne Beswick, Howard Tuman, and Freddie Joseph repeat the title on their Yamaha powered Contender with a 40.87. 

After checkout, the team left Palm Beach Inlet and started fishing off the Juno Ledge. Two hours after they got to the spot, they got a hit on a blue runner on the surface and Wayne picked up the rod. It was a good fighting fish, but radio chatter announced that someone had 50. When Wayne did his job and got the fish to the boat, the team thought they would end up maybe in third or fourth place. “We were happy to get that fish in the boat,” said Bill. “We had heard about big fish leading up to the tournament, but the day of there were mostly 30s,” he explained. The team kept working to find a bigger fish, but after about three hours of a good bite, it got real quiet for the rest of the day. 

The Slam was the last event in the King of the South series and Spiced Rum III was battling it out with Penny-Less for first place. It was close right to the end. “We told Penny-Less we had a 40.87 and they needed a 34.60 to take the lead for the series; they got a 35, and edged us out by a half pound,” Bill told me. Still, Wummer’s team took first place in the slam… again. “I always say you can’t win without a good crew,” Bill concluded. Sherri Beswick was the Top Lady Angler and Howard Tumen took Top Senior honors.

Spiced Rum III congratulated Penny-Less on their win saying, “It was great to work with them and it is always great competition.” Spiced Rum III is sponsored by Tuppen's Marine,Yamaha Outboards, Contender Boats, Loadmaster Trailers, Latham Marine, Admiral Nelson's Rum, Tito's Handmade Vodka, Gill Media, Ocean LED, JL Audio, Ask the Advisors, Medical Center of the Palm Beaches, Gordon & Doner, Tamer Products, Ocean Tamer Bean Bags, Juno Bait & Tackle, Sailfish Marina, New Port Cove Marina, J Camm Luhrs, and United K9 Special Patrol.

In another interesting twist comparing last year’s Slam to this year, Offshore Warrior was first to the dock in 2013 with Wummer’s crew right behind them. This year, Tom Kenney and Josh Bradley followed Wummer to the scale in their Contender powered by Yamaha. And, Offshore Warrior repeats a second place finish at the Slam! “It was deja vu all over again! Wummer got first and we got second,” Kenney emphasized. 

Offshore Warrior had been pre-fishing and only found 25-pounders on the beach. They stopped to get bait and executed their research that showed they needed to go straight offshore to 70’ of water. They got to the spot about 7:00 or 7:30 and caught four dolphin right away. “It was chaos because they all bit at the same time,” Kenney told me. The team was discouraged because, other than the dolphin, the morning's work had only yielded a 15-pound king. But they dug in and decided to stick it out.

At about 12:30 they had a good bite and worked the fish to the boat quickly. As soon as they put the lines in, another one almost identical to the first hit. It was getting late, so they headed back to the weigh-in. Along the way they stopped to fish the tideline and caught a 34-pounder; it was smaller than the fish they caught earlier. They had to choose which one to weigh while they waited for Bill Wummer to vacate the scales. They picked the right one. It pushed the scales down to 39.93 and put them in second place. The other fish was a 38. “The bottom line is: Billy got us again,” lamented Kenney.

Since the ocean was slick calm, Rick Henley took his son, 7-year-old Caleb, out to fish the young angler’s second ever kingfish tournament. “Caleb fished this event with us last year,” Rick said adding that, “It’s a really good tournament.” Tommy Smith completes the Stock Options team on a Mercury powered Fountain. Rick had information from some commercial guys that fishing down south had been slow, so they headed to a spot off Canaveral. Sounds simple, but it was about a 70-mile run. They set out a blue runner on the shotgun and at 10:30 their 38.56 hit. Rick described it as a fairly normal fight with nothing too exciting. It just takes a while to clear the lines with only two men on the boat. Rick had the rod and the team just worked the fish up for Tommy to gaff. They tried to find a bigger one, but that was it for this trip. Rick has been fishing with the SKA since 1993. “The tournament paid pretty well for third place,” he remarked, “especially since there were fewer boats. It’s a really well-run tournament and we enjoy going back each year.” Young Caleb was Top Junior for the event, Top SKA Junior, and earned the Mercury Junior Angler Scholarship Award. The team appreciates Mercury for supporting the SKA, the anglers, and the sport. 

Many thanks go to Tournament Director Joy Yancy along with the rest of the Summer Slam crew for a job well done. Teams really enjoy this event and return year after year. The Ft. Pierce City Marina is a great venue. We’ll see you next year!


Open Class

Contender / Yamaha
Bill Wummer
Sherri Beswick
Howard Tuman
Freddie Joseph
Wayne Beswick
Contender / Yamaha
Tom Kenney
Fountain / Mercury
Rick Henley
Tommy Smith
Caleb Henley

Top Lady Anglers
40.871. Sherri Beswick

Top Senior Angler
40.87Howard Tuman

Top Junior Angler
38.56Caleb Henley

SKA Top Junior Anglers
38.561. Caleb Henley
30.162. Christopher Sprague
27.813. Stevie Papia

Mercury Marine Junior Angler Scholarship Winner
Caleb Henley

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