The Kayak Fishing ClassicS opened the 2016 tournament series in Tampa Bay, Florida with the Tampa Bay Classic 2016 Gulf Coast slam. Anglers were busy chasing slams and needed to catch a redfish, trout and a snook to score the slam which is difficult at best. Then factor into an anglers efforts the need for 3 of the biggest fish possible to compete, the weather, cool water conditions which can slow the bite and you have a foreboding challenge.
The anglers were allowed to fish anywhere in Tampa Bay to make it even more competitive and allow anglers to choose areas away from the wind if it were to arise. Did I say if? The weather was forecast to be a Chamber of Commerce day however if you know anything about Tampa Bay you know to be prepared for anything weatherize. The 5 to 7 kts wind prediction was spot on…for awhile. As the sun heated the atmosphere conditions bubbled up and the wind started moving around at a 12 to 15 kt pace with some interesting gusts from time to time. This along with the tidal movement of course, moves the baitfish and the sport fish follow. Finding a productive, calm area is key and some anglers seem to be very good at this…their catch logs confirm it.
The Kayak Fishing ClassicS uses the iAngler Tournament Systems scoring equipment linked with contestants smart phones for instantaneous scoring and results which are viewable worldwide for the ClassicS numerous global followers. Anglers receive a confirmation from Capt. Pat Horrigan, the National Tournament Director which is a huge advantage and peace of mind. No longer does an angler worry if he or she has taken a good photo or if their camera failed.
As catches were instantly logged and scored, the count continued to increase for many anglers. Many of the amazing anglers were also vested in the new Denali Masters Calcutta sponsored by Denali Performance Apparel who makes a juicy contribution into the Calcutta at the beginning of every tournament. Anglers also contribute to the DMC to make for an even taster cash payout…money.
Kahuna’s Bar and Grill in St. Petersburg hosted the Tampa Bay Classic contestants with some of their awesome ribs, shrimp sandwiches or more gastronomic delights…there shrimp salad is very yummy. Anglers enjoyed their lunch and a cool beverage as the numbers were checked and readied for announcement and payouts. The top five anglers of the tournament are lavished upon with a kayak full of outstanding gear provided by the ClassicS many generous sponsors. In addition anglers who played were eligible to win a cash payout for the top 3 places in this the inaugural Denali Masters Calcutta. Lets take a look at who all of this played out while we enjoy a tasty treat from Kahuna’s.
In 5th place was Olin Satterfield with a total combined length of 49.7” A solid performance in what was tough conditions and good enough to win a KFC Denali Performance series shirt, a pair of Flying Fisherman sunglasses, Yo-Zuri Lures, Tsunami Classic fishing rod and a pair of Salt Life Optics. Pretty sweet winnings indeed. Olin hunted all day for what proved to be a hungry redfish. Had he nailed one the outcome would have been different for all. Congratulations from all of our sponsors and from all of us Olin. You turned in a solid performance and out fished some big names, we hope that target on your back won’t get too heavy.
4th place was captured by Adam Calderon with a slam totaling 65.9” Calderon landed one of each species for his slam and had an interesting story about the huge, dare I say huge, redfish that got away from him. We’ve all had it happen but it really hurts in a tournament in particular. Adam enjoyed a sweet sponsor package, great times and a tasty meal. Congratulations from all of our KFCTS sponsors Adam.
3rd place was controlled by Derek Engle of Team Yak-It and DOA TerrorEyz Lures. Engle turned in a slam measuring 66.7” with his redfish handled on a Tsunami Rod…lots of backbone. Derek won a kayak full of sponsor gear and $160.00 in the Denali Masters Calcutta. Not a bad day on the water for Derek and the Yak-It group. Yak-it is a proud sponsor of the KFCTS and we are very pleased that they paid us a visit at the weigh in…always nice to have a sponsor visit.
2nd place was hooked by Robert Brown and LIVETARGET BaitBall. Brown landed a 68.1” slam and some pretty sweet gear from our fantastic sponsors. Robert also placed 2nd in the Denali Masters Calcutta which paid him a nice $240.00 check to go along with the gear. Brown caught a fat 27.7” redfish on the LiveTarget BaitBall topwater as he did all of his fish, that gave him a quit a time but the very good angler managed to land the brut. Reds were at a premium this day and Brown knew it so played the fish just right for the score. Robert had a great day on the water and thanked us and all of our sponsors. We thank you Robert and Congratulations once again form all of us here and all of our sponsors.
Tony Lai and DOA Lures Capture 1st Place
1st place was pounded out by Tony Lai with a total slam score of 75.1” Tony put in a tough day hunting up the slam with the reds being hard to fool, Tony enticed a nice one with a DOA paddle tale. It only takes one redfish, trout and snook to win if they are the right ones and those were the ones Tony caught. It had been some time since he had been able to compete with job demands on his time. We are happy for you Tony and we know you will enjoy the awesome gear that you won. Tony was pretty stoked about the Ultra Pro X CAM 10 Adventure Cam he won in his prize package…yep we saw you eyeballing it before weigh in. To go along with all of his cool gear, Tony won the Big Ole Fish Award and took home a super nice Bending Branches Angler Pro paddle in the awesome new camo pattern. In his prize package Tony also won the new Onyx AM24 inflatable life jacket. That goes well with our new rule on PFD’s this year.
Tony also played the Denali Masters Calcutta and took home a check for $400.00 now that will put a smile on anglers face. Congratulations Tony for all of our sponsors and friends. It was good to see you on the water again.
The sponsors of the Kayak Fishing ClassicS, Kahuna’s and our staff wish to thank all of you and congratulate all of the anglers in the Tampa Bay Classic. It was a great start to our 2016 tournament series year. The ClassicS has expanded the series with a new division in Texas, holding 3 tournaments there this year. KFCTV has begun filming the Southern Kayak Fishing Reports Show and will begin airing soon. We’ll be sure to keep you updated and look for us on the water. Good Fishing…