The team on Sandman, skippered by Capt. Scott Leon of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, released 34 sailfish to win a weather-shortened World Sailfish Championship in Key West Sunday on April 22.
A makeup day Sunday was planned but scrubbed after Saturday’s thunderstorm concerns forced officials to call lines-out after just 42 minutes of angling, prematurely ending what was to be the final fishing day.
“We canceled the tournament for the safety of the anglers,” tournament founder Chris King said. “The winds were 25 knots and seas expected to go seven to nine feet. We declared a one-hour delay (Sunday), checked with the Coast Guard and it would have been unsafe for anglers to be out.”
The defending champions on Sandman maintained a lead established Thursday, the second fishing day, and earned $316,917 for the tournament win.
The team consisted of boat owner Sandra MacMillan who scored 12 releases and was named the tournament’s top female angler, Domie Adames, Kyle Sherman, Robby Waddick, Cory Ryan and Wes Stevens.
According to Leon, Sandman anticipated a tough third day and built its strategy around that premise.
“Wednesday and Thursday, the first two days, were crucial because I knew (the fish) were going to be tailing,” Leon said. “We knew we had to catch as many as we could the first two days because the third day of fishing was going to be minimal.”
Team Advanced Roofing also released 34 sails, but ended the tournament in second place based on time and took home $112,838.
Guided by Cpt. Jeff Scott, Advanced Roofing team members included Michael Kornahrens, Tommy Kornahrens, Dave Collier, Robbie Clawges and Mike Calabrese.
Saturday’s 42 minutes of fishing clinched third place for team 4 Aces, skippered by Capt. John Dudas of Miami. The team scored five releases in quick succession after beginning the day with 27, for a tournament total of 32. Miami teammates Peter Adrian, Jeffrey Liederman, Rob Romares and Alex Castellanos earned $135,783, more than Advanced Roofing, because of other prize categories 4 Aces had entered.
King said anglers on 53 boats released 652 sailfish.
World Sailfish Championship 2012