JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It was all smiles Friday at Sisters Creek Marina as the 42nd Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament opened the scales.
This year’s tournament is a little different than previous installments. Because of gas prices, the tournament limited fishing to just one day on the water.
Many anglers said they like a single day of fishing better.
“Since we are getting up there in age I like it better. You know, when I was younger I liked the two days, but now my body is not so good, so I apricate the one day” said Andrew Runyon.
The tournament came with a celebrity participant. On July 17, Cameron Smith won the Open Championship, and less than a week later, he was on the water competing to win the Kingfish Tournament.
While Smith captained the boat, fellow PGA Tour golfer Billy Horschel caught his first kingfish.
“Cam fishes a lot more than I do, and the boys fish a lot more than I do, but this is by far my biggest kingfish because I have never caught one,” Horschel said.
In the main tournament, the big fish started to come in early. The first fish of the day to hit the scale was 40.81 pounds. It finished in second place. The top fish belonged to One Time boat out of St. Augustine, captained by Joseph Shugart. They reeled in a 49.77 pound fish.
After seeing the fish on the scale, David Nelson said he knew the fish had a chance to win
“We fish all over. Travel all over. From the keys to North Carolina to Biloxi. We caught a lot of big fish. We knew we were going to be right there,” he said.
Nelson said he was thankful for the one-day tournament because that meant less time to stress over if someone would be able to top their fish.