Paradise Bay Flounder Tournament 2019 Results.
The Paradise Bay Flounder Tournament ended with the largest flounder they have seen in two years. The winning crew this year were also the winners of last year’s Flounder Pounder.
Jim Coffiey took the bay tourney this year with a twenty four and three quarter inch flounder weighing 6.1 pounds. Not only that but his crew took second place as well. Luke Horney took second place, he was in first place at the end of the first day.
The second day of the Paradise Bay Flounder Tournament, a bigger sea of neon green highlighter T shirts filled the scales area. If they didn’t win they wanted to see who would. The weights had been within a tenth the day before and it would be that way agan for a few anglers. The competition was tough, fish with the same length would weigh just shy of one another. The anglers had to pick through the same fish they picked through the day before and find bigger fish.
The end of the first day, first place was held by Luke Horney at 5.5 pounds. Once the twenty three and a half inch mark was broken, then the anglers were back to fighting over tenths of a pound above five pounds. The average large keeper so far around the inland bays is five pounds and twenty three inches. That would be broken later that day. Sometimes the longer fish does not wiegh as much as a shorter fish when you are at fractions of an inch, just look at the leaderboard.
I got to the scales a little after they opened, I was not looking forward to hanging out in the hundred degree steam bath. The heat wave was in its third worse day. The anglers were already cooked, now they were set on broil. Pink skin turned to lobster red, sunscreen gave way to long sleeve shirts, some ran for the hose, never to be seen again that day. The water’s reflection will cook you more than land and sand. You could see the heat exhaustion in many faces, mixed with determination.
I was BS’ing with everyone, same stories …
“I was hotter than Satan’s front porch”
“We have been picking through small fish all day”
“How in the ever loving hell did they find a flounder over five pounds!” “Today we fished where we should have yesterday, but we should have fished where we were yesterday instead”
“I NEED A COLD BEER!” …. was the most common phrase
Jim, Luke, Pete and their crew pull the boat into the marina.
I look over, how you boys doing?
“Hey man we got another fish” … Shhhhhhhh
Oh yeah?! what’s it look like?” …
Luke opens the cooler just little …
Holy &%$# (quietly)
I know they want to surprise the scales. I keep quiet and head up top for pictures. It is more fun to watch the reaction when no one knows what is headed to the scales. It is even more fun when you do know, you have a camera, and you know it is going to crush first place.
The boys stand in line, and wait. They still have first place at 5.5 pounds, and nothing has touched that yet. So far, no one has come close to breaking five pounds on the second day. The board will not change much at all. Except in the kids and women’s deivision. The inland bays have given up their largest fish that these crews could find.
When it was all said and done the winners were …
Overall Winners …
James Coiffey 24 3/5 inches 6.1 pounds
Luke Horeny 23 1/8 inches 5.5 pounds
Ed Thornton 23 3/4 inches 5.3 pounds
Todd Stevenson 23 1/4 inches 5.1 pounds
Tom Passwaters 23 1/2 inches 5.0 pounds
Womans Division …
Kara SMith 21 inches 3.8 punds
Luann Harding 207/8 inches 3.7 pounds
Aleah Swithenback 20 inches 3.3 pounds
kid’s Division …
Logan Comely 201/2 inches 3.7 pounds
Ryan Kleban / Olivia Califano 18 1/2 inches 2.6 pounds
Will Grogg 20 inches 3.3 pounds