The 2nd annual Extreme Kayak/Paddle Board Winter Classic Fishing Tournament benefiting the Palm Beach Reef Rescue took place on Saturday March 24th, 2012.
At 6a.m., the 67 registered anglers set off to sea by the Pompano Beach Pier. They were well fueled with Starbucks coffee and well prepared with bait provided by Atlantic Bait and Tackle and Aces Bait and Tackle. Complementary Chum Bawls were also provided to all anglers.
Around 8 a.m. they got news from the rescue boat provided by Atlantic Boat Rentals that Doug Perez landed a whopping 43.2-pound amberjack. “The AJs (Amberjack) started showing up heavy in February so I knew this was my target species from get go,” Perez later said. Knowing that the current would be a bit strong to the north with a South-South East wind, Doug says, “I knew I had to paddle way south before even attempting to go offshore so that I would drift right over the wreck perfectly with little paddling.” Doug had two jig “set-ups” ready to go. As he dropped his jig down he hooked up right away and yelled out “FISH ON”! As fast as he could say “FISH ON!” the fish was GONE… it had cut him off above the leader. “Must of been on the wreck or tail whipped my braid,” Doug recalled.
As a true sport fisherman he only looked at that as a challenge and after 30 minutes he grabbed his other rod and as soon as it hit the bottom it was “FISH ON!” After a long battle, with the current not being in his favor, Doug saw the bubbles come up and realized the fish was his. As the fish approached the surface Doug observed that it was the “biggest Amberjack [he] had ever caught!”
Doug fishes out of a Hobie Outback Mirage drive kayak from Nautical Ventures, which is one of the leading sponsors of the event. The fish was so big and took up so much space he was no longer able to use his Mirage Drive, forcing him to paddle back to shore in a 3 mph current with “arms that felt like jello.” Luckily the safety boat was nearby and took the fish off his hands. To his surprise he landed a 6.2-pound dolphin in around 90 feet of water. “Icing on the cake for me,” Doug went on to say.
Doug Perez was the tournament champion with a total weight of 49.4 lbs. and he received a beautiful trophy from Crown Trophies and check for $1,000. He also won a pair of Costa Del Mar Sunglasses worth $250, a $100 gift certificate from Atlantic Bait and Tackle and an autographed copy from fishing legend Tom Greene of “A Net Full of Tails.”
“With another successful tournament under our belt we are already actively planning for the next one,” says organizer Joe Hector. To check out pictures of past events and to get the latest information on dates etc. visit the web-site www.extremekayakfishing.com