The 2016 Canal Flounder Tournament
Friday was the canal flounder tournament and it was a great day. Over 390 anglers participated this year, which is a new record. Lewes Harbor Marina raised $1,970 for the Youth Fishing Tournament. Anglers said it was tough fishing, but there were some decent fish landed. The top two winning fish were just over six pounds and caught earlier in the morning when the tide changed. The rest of the fish entered were caught later in the day, except for one that was caught earlier in the morning. Gulp and minnows were the popular baits of choice, but everyone has their own preference for baits and rigs. The end of the day is always fun, everyone sits around and reminisces what they caught, where, and even a few ones that got away. “We were near that big sailboat when this one hit” … “I saw you guys trying to land that one fish!” … We had it to the boat and the line snapped, it was HUGE!” … “This is the first time I haven’t caught a single fish in a canal tournament.”
The winners of this year’s Canal Flounder Tournament … (from left to right)
Robbie Baxley …… 6.7 pounds
Patrick Summers …. 6.03 pounds
Tim West Sr. …… 4.9 pounds
Dillon Barker ….. 4.7 pounds
Robert Sawicki ….. 4.3 pounds
Tim West Jr. ……. 4.1 pounds
Howard Bowden II ….. 4.1 pounds
The winner of the tournament was young Robbie Baxley of Milton, Delaware. The 684 has something else to be proud of, this young man bested 390 anglers to take the top prize. He also caught his fish on one of PC Rods flounder rigs, locally made in Milton by Patrick Conroy at the shop. Had it not been for Patrick’s rig this fish would not have made it in the boat. Robbie … “We were netting the fish when my line snapped, the teaser hook got caught up in the net and we were able to put the fish in the boat. It was hanging from the rig, or I would have lost the flounder.” I asked Robbie if we were all going to Sizzler on the winnings, but he had other plans. Also because asking a 12-year-old kid to buy you a beer is frowned upon, even in a drinking town with a fishing problem. Congrats Robbie you managed a great catch. You have an awesome story about the one that almost got away and won you the tournament.
When I arrived at Lewes Harbor Marina, there were a bunch of boats in the canal. I could have walked to the lightship without getting my feet wet. That is par for the course for this tournament and it is the reason to host it on a Friday. This kind of traffic on a Saturday would be a nightmare, and the fishing probably would not be as good with so much commotion on the water. I saw Chris Ragni, Brittany Smith, and Patrick Summers drift by the pier. Patrick was all laid out in the front of the boat, looked like he was napping, I guess that is how you roll when you already have second place in the bag. It was a fun day at Lewes Harbor Marina, I had a great time seeing everyone. A lot of other fish came to the tables to be cleaned while we were there, sea bass, striped bass, and of course flounder.
The best part of the day were all of the stories about Joe Morris. He is sorely missed by the community and you could see and hear it yesterday. Everyone was excited and having fun, but they were missing that one element. No worries though, Joe was there in spirit more than people realized. He was talked about often with nothing but love and affection. He will live on in the memories and stories of Lewes anglers for generations to come.