Top catches mean prizes at St. Marys tournament
Anglers competing in the second annual Historic St. Marys Fishing Classic targeted a host of species over the weekend competition.
Nearly 150 anglers took to the water, and prizes were awarded for kingfish, black drum, sheepshead, whiting, flounder, trout and redfish at the Howard Gilman Memorial Park headquarters.
The Edwards family of Fernandina Beach, Fla., monopolized the top three spots in the black drum standings.
Keith Edwards, who won this category last year, repeated with a 16.74-pounder. His wife, Julie, was second (14.88), and his father, Charles, third (12.46), and daughter Jenna snagged a winning, 1.16-pound whiting.
The pair of Hampton Huling and Joseph Stover captured first place in the redfish jackpot, with a 20.48-pound haul. Individually, first for redfish went to Tripp Lang (4.02 pounds), second to Stover (3.78), and third to Huling (3.42).
Chris Barlow ruled the sheepshead division (4.8 pounds), with Dustin Bridges second (3.92) and Slade Dukes third (3.04). Clay Begley (1.04) and Lindsey Lalande (1.02) placed second and third for whiting.
First through third for flounder were Brian Davis (2.66 pounds), Nat Hetzer (1.96) and Joey Britt (1.88). Skip Swain (4.56) was the trout champion, followed by John Parham (4.3) and Jay Stanford (3.78).
The team of Donald Skipper, Bear Croft, Steve Bernhard and Kevin Blanton won Saturday’s kingfish event with a 7.42-pound catch, edging runner-up Shari Adams (7.36) and Logan Stevenson (6.46).
Kayak anglers hunted trout, flounder and redfish, and Matt Embree won the overall slam competition at 69-1/2 inches.
Embree brought in the largest redfish (39-1/2 inches), Kevin Lairsey the biggest trout (24-1/4), and Tim Weil the biggest flounder (20). Jeff Altman (66-1/2) was second on the slam leaderboard.
Kids came out over the weekend to test their fishing skills and get a few catches, and participants also enjoyed live music. Tournament proceeds will benefit Justin’s Miracle Field, the Methodist Boys Home, Rotary Club of Camden County Foundation, and the Shriners Hospital for Children.