(Jan. 29, 2013 - KEY WEST, Florida Keys)...
A 56.44-pound kingfish catch earned the Unreel fishing team top honors at the Key West Harbour King Mackerel Tournament that ended Jan. 27.
Captain Steve Squires of Kinston, N.C., caught the winning fish. Other team members included Lynwood Riggs of Kinston and Key West residents Captain Billy Delph, 11-year-old Daniel Delph and Sam Shaw.
Squires said the team was well west of Key West in about 80 feet of water when he caught the winning fish around 10:30 a.m. on the second of two fishing days. According to Riggs, they weren’t sure it was big enough to place prominently in the competitive tournament.
"We knew it was close, but one digit on that scale would change it," Riggs said of the standings. "We broke off a bigger fish earlier."
As well as being part of the winning team, Daniel Delph was named the tournament’s top junior angler.
The Lil Devil team out of Fort Pierce, Fla., led by Captain Michael Jacquin, took second place with a 54.46-pound catch. Anglers were Paul Jacquin, Robert Jacquin, Chris Carter and Kevin Beeten.
Third-place honors went to team Penny-Less of Lake Worth, Fla., with a 53.29-pound kingfish. Skippered by Captain Mike Wood, the team consisted of Lake Worth residents David Linsinbigler, the captain’s father Jim Wood, Alex Burgess and Joaquin Anico.
The tournament also featured a division for anglers fishing in boats 23 feet or shorter. Its winner was the team aboard Bada Bing, led by Captain Sammy Papia of Orlando, with a 43.62-pound catch. Anglers included the captain’s father Sam Papia of Tampa and brother Steve Papia of West Palm Beach, Fla., as well as Dave Lynn of Pompano Beach, Fla.
The two-day angling challenge, a sanctioned event of the Southern Kingfish Association, attracted 60 boats.
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywestor 1-800-FLA-KEYS