Krazy Salts tops record Pirates Cove haul

PORT SALERNO — Question: What’s better than catching 330 sailfish in a weekend? Answer: Catching 374.

For the second straight year, the tournament fleet fishing in the Pirates Cove Sailfish Classic set a new total catch record.

An astounding 374 sailfish were caught and released in three days by teams fishing aboard 27 boats, three less boats than the 2010 fleet. The mark is the fifth best overall catch total for Treasure Coast sailfish tournaments.

Tournament teams withstood rough sea conditions that included small craft advisories throughout the three-day long event. After a poor showing of sailfish early in the week during the season’s first tournament, the weather changed and so did the fishing.

Capt. Keith Greenberg led the team aboard Krazy Salts to the win by catching eight sailfish Sunday. Krazy Salts is owned by David Anderson of Medford, N.J., and includes Tom Craig, Luke Hickey and mates Mark McDevitt and Eric McDowell.

When the day began, Krazy Salts trailed two-day leader Big Oh 20-19, but Big Oh only found two fish to finish in third place overall with 22.

Greenberg said instead of having to run to the fish, the fish came to him.

“I like it when I don’t have to run around looking for sailfish bites,” Greenberg said. “We pretty much were able to fish in 120 to 150 feet of water off Jupiter, where we’ve been the past two days.”

Greenberg said he probably covered a fishing area that totaled about 3 square miles.

“There was a little bait there and some flying fish,” he said. “There’s been good fishing off Palm Beach for six weeks now. I think another cold front may bring more fish down or add fish here to those down there.”

Chasin Tail, led by Capt. Rob Valko and winners of the Finest Kind Quickie earlier in the week, won Sunday’s daily award by catching and releasing 10 sailfish. They edged Cowpoke and Capt. Mike Brady on time as they had 10 as well.

That was enough to lift Cowpoke past Big Oh for second in the Classic, the team’s second straight tournament as a runner-up. The Cowpoke crew opened last season by winning two of their first three.

The fleet added to its total each of the three days. Friday they caught 114,. Saturday they had 124, and Sunday they finished with 137.

Cowpoke also leads the 10-boat field fishing the three-tournament Treasure Coast Sailfish Championship series. Cowpoke holds a slight edge over Big Oh, 23-22, followed by defending champion Bone Shaker with 19.

Five-time winning skipper Capt. Glenn Cameron has been fishing the tournament aboard Lo Que Sea, but is not in this year’s Championship field.

The Championship is fished through the course of the Classic, the Light Tackle Sailfish Tournament, which will run Thursday through Sunday, and the Pelican Yacht Club Invitational Billfish Tournament in early January.

Cowpoke owner Cruiser Crews of Avon Park said it was a great change in fishing from early week to weekend.

“The difference was like night and day,” Crews said. “The weather was lousy, but the fishing was good.”

Pirates Cove Resort and Marina owner Faith Moynihan wants to make sure the news gets out about the great sailfish action off the Treasure Coast.

“Folks need to know that just because the tournament is over, does not mean the fishing is over,” she said.

PIRATES COVE SAILFISH CLASSIC

Final Standings

27: Krazy Salts, Capt. Keith Greenberg

23: Cowpoke, Capt. Mike Brady

22: Big Oh, Capt. Ronnie Fields

21: Lo Que Sea, Capt. Glenn Cameron

20: Outlaw, Capt. Neil Subin

19: Bone Shaker, Capt. Scott Fawcett

19: Della, Capt. Eddie Wheeler

18: Challenge, Capt. Jim Hardee

17: Chasin Tail, Capt. Rob Valko

16: Intents, Capt. Don Mauldin

16: Rough’n It, Capt. Ed Nicolace

15: Wrenegade, Capt. Jimmy Garner

13: Gotham/Bandalero, Capt. Kevin Paul

12: Sea Hag, Capt. Joe Colabella

12: Dirty Mines, Capt. Dave Graham

11: J Hook, Capt. Dewey Price

10: Miller Time, Capt. Rob Miller

10: Carolina Mist, Capt. Tom Sharp

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

9: Reel Grumpy, Capt. Ryan Sylvia

9: Boomer, Capt. Scott Mantz

9: Brier Patch, Capt. Karl Anderson

8: Viking 66, Capt. Ryan Higgins/Robbie Moore

8: Playtime, Capt. Darrin Cobb

8: Lisa K, Capt. Bobby Randolph

6: ZF Marine, Capt. Todd Anderson/Kip Edwards

2: Big Whoop, Capt. Davenport West

Fleet totals: 375 sailfish, 27 boats

TREASURE COAST SAILFISH CHAMPIONSHIP

Standings through two events

23: Cowpoke, Capt. Mike Brady

22: Big Oh, Capt. Ronnie Fields

19: Bone Shaker, Capt. Scott Fawcett

17: Chasin Tail, Capt. Rob Valko

16: Rough’n It, Capt. Ed Nicolace

12: Sea Hag, Capt. Joe Colabella

11: J Hook, Capt. Dewey Price

10: Miller Time, Capt. Rob Miller

8: Playtime, Capt. Darrin Cobb

8: Lisa K, Capt. Bobby Randolph

TOP 10 AREA SAILFISH TOURNAMENT TOTAL CATCHES

538: 1997 Stuart Sailfish Club Light Tackle Sailfish Tournament, 45 boats (4 days)

408: 2010 Pelican Yacht Club Invitational Billfish Tournament, 29 boats

386: 2004 Pelican Yacht Club Invitational Billfish Tournament, 52 boats

377: 2011 Pelican Yacht Club Invitational Billfish Tournament, 30 boats

374: 2011 Pirates Cove Sailfish Classic, 27 boats

348: 2009 Stuart Sailfish Club Light Tackle Sailfish Tournament, 21 boats

330: 2006 Fort Pierce Billfish Derby, 17 boats

330: 2010 Pirates Cove Sailfish Classic, 30 boats

304: 1994 Stuart Sailfish Club Light Tackle Tournament, 38 boats

303: 1977 Stuart Sailfish Club Light Tackle Tournament, 54 boats

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