Despite cold, anglers expect sailfish action will be hot

FORT PIERCE — As the Treasure Coast wakes up Wednesday morning, there will be more than just a chill in the air — it will be downright cold. The last thing on the minds of most will be to board a boat and head onto the open ocean where they are sure to get wet in 5 to 7 foot seas.

But for the fishing teams aboard 29 boats signed up to fish the 32nd annual Pelican Yacht Club Invitational Billfish Tournament, a little cold air and rough water will be received just fine. The reason? Because the sailfish bite Wednesday must be hot enough to warm up the numbest of fingers.

Jim Paternostro, owner of Skid Marks, one of the boats fishing in the tournament, said he is looking forward to one of his favorite weeks of the year.

“I told my wife, I went to sleep in Florida and woke up in Alaska,” said Paternostro, a Pelican Yacht Club member from Auburndale. “I’m going to enjoy every single splash out there.”

He isn’t far off. Lows Wednesday will be about 30 degrees. In Homer, Ak, the low is 15.

Tuesday, even before the sun went down, the northeasterly breeze and crisp air blowing through the marina chilled deckhands to the bone as they rigged ballyhoo for trolling. Many eagerly anticipated Tuesday evening’s kickoff party as much for the sheer warmth of the club’s Anchor Dining Room as for its elegant and plentiful spread of dining delicacies.

Teams will depart the Fort Pierce Inlet daily through Saturday at 7:30 a.m. Fishing will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Boats will return to Pelican Yacht Club by 5 p.m. Teams will fish any three of the four days choosing one day as a lay day at each team’s discretion.

While the fleet of 29 will vie for the Pelican title, 10 among them will be fishing for the Treasure Coast Sailfish Championship. Leading the way is Big Oh with 43 releases led by Capt. Ronnie Fields. Second standing Cowpoke led by Capt. Mike Brady has 39 releases followed by the 33 caught by RoughN’It with Capt. Ed Nicolace.

Follow the action during fishing hours as tournament radio operator Terry Shafer uploads scores in real time on the PYC website at www.pelicanyachtclub.com.

MARINE WEATHER FORECAST

Wednesday: North winds 15 knots diminishing to 5 to 10 knots in the afternoon. Seas 5 to 7 feet.

Thursday: Northwest winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas 4 to 6 feet.

Friday: Northwest winds 5 to 10 knots. Seas 3 to 4 feet.

Saturday: Southwest winds 5 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet.

TREASURE COAST SAILFISH CHAMPIONSHIP

STANDINGS

43 — Big Oh, Capt. Ronnie Fields

39 — Cowpoke, Capt. Mike Brady

33 — Rough’n It, Capt. Ed Nicolace

31 — Chasin Tail, Capt. Rob Valko

29 — Bone Shaker, Capt. Scott Fawcett

23 — J Hook, Capt. Dewey Price

20 — Miller Time, Capt. Rob Miller

19 — Sea Hag, Capt. Joe Colabella

13 — Lisa K, Capt. Bobby Randolph

12 — Playtime, Capt. Darrin Cobb

PELICAN YACHT CLUB RECENT RESULTS

2011 — Lo Que Sea, Capt. Kevin Paul, 24 releases

2010 — Lo Que Sea, Capt. Kevin Paul, 38*

2009 — Cowpoke, Capt. Mike Brady, 17

2008 — Floridian, Capt. Glenn Cameron, 20

2007 — Bone Shaker, Capt. Scott Fawcett, 15

PELICAN YACHT CLUB RECENT TOTALS

2011 — 377 releases, 30 boats

2010 — 408 releases*, 29 boats

2009 — 147 releases, 23 boats

2008 — 197 releases, 42 boats

2007 — 180 releases, 44 boats

* = tournament record

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