49ºF

38th annual Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament final day

Clayton Kirby of Team Fountain caught a 46.5 pound kingfish to win

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Weather reared its ugly head once again on the final day of the 38th annual Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament on Friday.  However, Clayton Kirby and Team Fountain didn't mind the rain one bit.

Kirby was able to weigh his 46.5 pound kingfish to take the lead in the overall standings just before the scales closed due to a lightning storm nearby and a deluge of rain at the dock.  

"We caught bait down by the Sea Turtle and we had some other ribbon fish as well," said Kirby.  "We ran offshore to a spot we frequently fish.  In about 100 feet of water, we caught this one at about 10 o'clock."

But, according to Kirby, it was not as easy as it sounds.

"This one got tangled in another line.  We had a little antics with that, getting him untangled and cutting that rig loose without cutting the line.  After about a 25 minute battle, we got it to the boat and gaffed," said Kirby.

Kirby and Team Fountain are no strangers to kingfish tournaments, winning the aggregate tournament here five times, as well as winning the Southern Kingfish Association's national championship in 2014.  After not winning another tournament since that win in 2014, Kirby and his partner decided to change things up a little bit this year.

"We started entering this tournament in my name with me as the captain years ago.  This year we decided to enter in his name with him as the captain to see if it changed our luck and lady luck smiled on us," said Kirby.

In the aggregate contest, Chris Stephens aboard the Beer Money boat caught a 41.05 pound kingfish in day one.  Day two saw the Beer Money team weigh a 33.15 pound kingfish to take the lead at 74.20 pounds unofficially.  

Constance Atkinson took the lead in the lady angler class with a kingfish that weighed 33.2 pounds.

The awards ceremony for the winners of the 38th annual Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament is Saturday starting at 4:30 PM.