With a 2 month break from fishing, the 75 qualifying teams for the 2012 Mercury/SeaVee Pompano Beach Saltwater Showdown were anxious to get out on the water and compete in the last leg of the PBSC summer tournament series. With near $100,000 in cash prizes at stake and the coveted top team of the season award within sight, the pressure was on. Who would rise to the occasion?
Overall, fishing was tough for many of the teams in the Showdown, however, there were still a number of teams that managed to capitalize on their bites and boat some quality fish. Several of the teams in the top 10 were newcomers to the leaderboard, an exciting feat, particularly in the championship leg. Team Kona Blue moved way up the ladder from the 2nd leg to the final leg of the series. They won the Toilet Bowl award in the June Saltwater Slam event – an award handed out to the last place team in the tournament. They turned the tide in the Showdown, however, with 4 Kingfish that weighed 79.88 pounds and a 10th place finish overall! Team Catchatori was another team that celebrated their 1st appearance in the top 10 of a PBSC event. They caught 4 Kingfish for an 87.31 pound total – enough to secure the 5th place spot in the Showdown. Tracie Raye was yet another team that broke into the top 10 of the leaderboard for the 1st time. They finished in 9th place 80.09 points and also managed to win the $4,860 KDW Jackpot.
The ProPayroll team had a great tournament at the 2011 Showdown, knocking out the KDW Jackpot for over $16,000 in winnings. They didn’t win the KDW Jackpot in the 2012 Showdown, but they did take down its sister category, the Pick 3. Captain Jamie Ralph and his ProPayroll teammates caught a weighable Cobia, Dolphin and Kingfish to claim the $19,200 Pick 3 purse. They weighed 3 additional Kings for a 111.39 total and a 2nd place finish in the Showdown as well.
ProPayroll collected the largest paycheck of the tournament at $27,423!
Team Tropically Impaired/Tito’s, defending champions from the 2011 Showdown had something to prove in the last leg of the 2012 series. They got off to a hot start in May with a victory at the 1st leg but disappeared from the leaderboard at the 2nd leg in June. However, as true champions do, they rose to the occasion at the championship and defended their 1st place title for the 2nd year in a row. The crew caught 4 Kings and a Wahoo for a 125.34 total and near $15,000 in winnings.
Team Flight Plan also caught 4 Kings and a Wahoo to claim the 3rd place position in the 2012 Showdown. Captain Casey Hunt and his teammates held the lead in the Showdown Crown top team of the season race with back-to-back 2nd place finishes in the Saltwater Shootout and Saltwater Slam. A 3rd place finish at the Showdown sealed their fate as the Showdown Crown champions in the 2012 series! Hunt and his teammates made history by becoming the 1st sportfish boat to ever win the Crown in its history. They join an exclusive club of teams held in high regard as the most dominant teams in the sport.
Jonathan Neal aboard Reel Tension, caught the heaviest eligible fish of the tournament, a 43.9 lb kingfish, worth near $15,000 to the team. The Wet Hooker fishing team caught the heaviest fish brought to the scales during the weigh-in. They boated a Wahoo that tipped the scales at 75 pounds, but it did not count in the tournament due to a large bite mark from a bull shark. The Wahoo would easily have exceeded the 80-pound mark in whole form.
Zane Colson of team Counterpoint claimed the Junior Master Angler title with 121.28 points for the season. His name will be engraved on a perpetual trophy on display at the IGFA Hall of Fame Museum in Dania, FL. At season’s end, near $300,000 in cash prizes were handed out during the 3-leg PBSC series.
The grand finale of the Saltwater Showdown tournament took place on Sunday, August 5th around 5 p.m. A crowded room of anxious people waited to see who would be the winner of a brand new Mercury powered 29’ SeaVee boat. Albert Kretschmer of Jupiter, Florida was the lucky winner for 2012 with ticket number 0644. Albert bought his winning ticket at the Dania Marine Flea Market in March of 2012. Congratulations Albert! The results of the drawing and all finalists are available online at www.winaseavee.com.
Full results of the Saltwater Showdown fishing tournament are available at saltwatershowdown.com.