Pelican anglers hope cold front ‘turns over’ the fishing

FORT PIERCE — This week’s weather is just what sailfish anglers ordered.

An expected fleet of 30 boats will gather this week at Fort Pierce’s Pelican Yacht Club to compete in the club’s 32nd annual Invitational Billfish Tournament. Tuesday night, captains, crewmen and anglers will gather at the esteemed club for the kickoff party and captain’s meeting. Wednesday, fishing begins with teams seeking catches (and releases) of sailfish. The team with the most releases will win the tournament.

The unseasonably warm weather the past week has not produced very good sailfish catching conditions, but all that is expected to change with Tuesday’s cold front. Cold weather, in recent years, has done more than jump start sailfishing for the Pelican Yacht Club affair — it has ignited fishing.

Last year, a fleet of 30 boats racked up an impressive 377 sailfish releases. In 2010, 29 boats rolled up a tournament-record 408 releases, the second highest total ever recorded in any Treasure Coast area sailfish tournament.

The 2010 fleet was greeted on the tournament’s first day of fishing with the season’s coldest temperatures and ice on the slippery docks and boat decks.

Among the teams to watch this week will be the two-time defending team aboard Lo Que Sea led this year by one of the area’s winningest captains, Capt. Glenn Cameron of Fort Pierce. The team leading the hotly-contested Treasure Coast Sailfish Championship, Big Oh, led by Capt. Ronnie Fields, is also a boat to watch. Former winners such as Cowpoke with Capt. Mike Brady, Bone Shaker with Capt. Scott Fawcett, Capt. Kevin Paul aboard Gotham/Bandolero and Capt. Ed Nicolace on Rough N’It.

Tournament fishing will take place until Saturday. Teams will fish three of the four days choosing a lay day at each team’s discretion.

The three-tournament championship will also wrap up Saturday.

For more information and real time scoring when fishing begins visit www.pelicanyachtclub.com.

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