Big Oh catches 10 to take first-day lead in Light Tackle Sailfish Tournament

PORT SALERNO — The Big Oh fishing team had a little deja vu Friday.

Capt. Ronnie Fields and anglers Gray Ingram, Ben Horning, Jimmy Fields and Skip Smith closed the first day of action in the 58th annual Light Tackle Sailfish Tournament the same way the team closed the first day of last weekend’s Pirates Cove Sailfish Classic — atop the leader board.

Relatively good sailfishing greeted the 21 fishing teams registered in the affair. A total of 84 sailfish were caught and released under gray skies and steady light drizzle. Although Big Oh grabbed the daily award, four other teams are within two fish, including the defending Light Tackle winner Cowpoke (eight catches) and 2009 winner Outlaw standing second with nine releases.

For Big Oh, Fields figured what worked last weekend would probably work this weekend. He reported his position as the same place as where the team spent most of its time last weekend — in 120 to 160 feet of water a little south of Jupiter Inlet. There was one key to Big Oh’s success.

“Multiples,” said Fields of Palm Beach. “We had two triples and a double. Most of our bites were teaser bites. Last weekend, our bites were rigger bites.”

That means the sailfish were not boat shy Friday, at least for Big Oh. The fishing the remainder of the weekend should hold steady, Fields said.

“There are a lot of fish around,” Fields said. “Boats were spread out pretty good Friday — only Chasin Tail (8 fish) was down where we were.”

Capt. Neil Subin of Sewall’s Point, owner and team leader of Outlaw, was about 12 miles north of Big Oh, a little north of St. Lucie Inlet. He reported the same depth for his team’s action.

“We started seeing them right at lines in,” Subin said. “We set out where we ended up during the Pirates Cove tournament and the conditions were good. There was a lot of life, the water looked good and was about the right temperature.”

Outlaw includes anglers Tom Wichers, crewman Ian Wichers, Bob Pelosi, Frank Applegate and Brian Schmidt. Rough N’It led by Capt. Ed Nicolace and with anglers Tom Donnick, Sebastian Blackman, Scott Lambeth and Hans Kraaz stands third with nine catches. Ties in the standings in billfish tournaments are broken by time of last fish released.

Tournament radio operator Bonnie Powell is posting catches on the tournament’s real time scoring page found at www.stuartsailfishclub.com.

Saturday from noon until 6 p.m., there will be a free Family Fun Day at Sailfish / Finest Kind Marina, 3565 S.E. St. Lucie Blvd., Stuart. Part of the fun includes a Kool Kids Fun Zone, local vendors, live music and a chowder cook-off.

MARINE WEATHER

Small craft advisory in effect

Saturday: Northeast winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas 4 to 6 feet.

Sunday: Northeast winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas 3 to 5 feet.

STUART SAILFISH CLUB LIGHT TACKLE SAILFISH TOURNAMENT

STANDINGS

FRIDAY CATCHES

10: Big Oh, Capt. Ronnie Fields

9: Outlaw, Capt. Neil Subin

9: Rough’n It, Capt. Ed Nicolace

8: Cowpoke, Capt. Mike Brady

8: Chasin Tail, Capt. Rob Valko

5: Challenge, Capt. Jim Hardee

5: Double Dog, Capt. Jason Parker

5: Gotham/Bandalero, Capt. Kevin Paul

4: Lo Que Sea, Capt. Glenn Cameron

3: Sea Hag, Capt. Joe Colabella

3: Fishin Machine, Capt. Doyle Hogan

2: Lisa K, Capt. Bobby Randolph

2: J Hook, Capt. Dewey Price

2: Intents, Capt. Don Mauldin

2: Blondie, Capt. Andy Kubiak

2: Bone Shaker, Capt. Scott Fawcett

1: Sea Check, Capt. V.J. Bell

1: Boomer, Capt. Scott Mantz

1: Big Easy, Capt. Michael Murray

1: Miller Time, Capt. Rob Miller

1: Playtime, Capt. Darrin Cobb

Friday totals: 84 sailfish, 21 boats

TREASURE COAST SAILFISH CHAMPIONSHIP

STANDINGS

32: Big Oh, Capt. Ronnie Fields

31: Cowpoke, Capt. Mike Brady

25: Chasin Tail, Capt. Rob Valko

25: Rough’n It, Capt. Ed Nicolace

21: Bone Shaker, Capt. Scott Fawcett

15: Sea Hag, Capt. Joe Colabella

13: J Hook, Capt. Dewey Price

11: Miller Time, Capt. Rob Miller

10: Lisa K, Capt. Bobby Randolph

9: Playtime, Capt. Darrin Cobb

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