The Whoa Nellie team (from left, Kate Spinweber, Barry Spinweber, Rhonda Throop and Todd Spinweber) shows the 49.5-pound wahoo that won largest fish in the Lake Worth tournament. The team caught the fish north of Boynton Inlet on a surface-trolled ballyhoo in 425 feet. The tournament attracted 44 teams. Photo provided by Leonard Bryant Photography
By Willie Howard
The 25th annual Mark Gerretson Memorial Fishing Tournament is scheduled for Aug. 10, with the weigh-in at Veterans Park in Delray Beach.
The tournament begins with a captain’s meeting and final registration set for 6-9 p.m. Aug. 8 at the Elks Lodge, 265 NE Fourth Ave., Delray Beach.
Fishing for kingfish, dolphin, wahoo (and a mystery fish) will be from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The entry fee is $225 per boat, up to four anglers. The annual tournament benefits youth and family causes in the Delray Beach area.
Anglers are being asked to donate used fishing rods (in working condition) to be given away to boys and girls under 12 during a free raffle at the captain’s meeting.
Rules and the entry form can be found at www.mgmft.net.
Divers take 535 lionfish in Boynton Beach derby
Forty-eight divers removed 535 invasive lionfish from South County reefs during the Rock the Marina Lionfish Derby, held June 1.
Four dive boats based at Boynton Harbor Marina took divers to the reefs. Experts from the Reef Environmental Education Foundation measured and examined each lionfish for research.
Native to the Indian and Pacific oceans, lionfish are well established on Florida reefs, where they eat native fish and compete with them for food.
Divers must be trained to handle lionfish because they have 18 venomous spines.
The lionfish derby was organized by Boynton Beach Dive Center and the Boynton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency.
62.7-pound wahoo wins KDW Classic
Dustin Haff and his teammates won top wahoo and largest fish of the Palm Beach County KDW Classic tournament with a 62.7-pound wahoo caught in the waters off Boynton Beach.
Haff said he and his teammates on Haff Time were trolling a large swimming mullet in 210 feet when the big wahoo hit.
It was the only wahoo weighed in at the June 1 tournament, which attracted 233 boats. The team’s winning wahoo beat the previous KDW Classic tournament record for wahoo (55.3 pounds) and won $3,000 as heaviest wahoo, plus a $1,000 big-fish bonus from Ande Monofilament.
Haff was crowned King of the Classic for being the male angler with the largest fish of the tournament.
Stephen Ray on Shimako won top kingfish, with a 48.5-pound fish. David Batignani and his crew on In Your Dreams caught the winning dolphin, a 28.3-pound mahi mahi taken on a trolled ballyhoo about 22 miles offshore.
Sherri Beswick won top lady angler and was crowned Queen of the Classic for her 26.9-pound kingfish, caught aboard Spiced Rum III.
Casen Emmons won top junior anger with a 26-pound kingfish caught on Knot Possible.
Aug. 6: Regular spiny lobster season opens and continues through March 31. Daily bag limit: 6. Lobster’s carapace (head section) must measure at least 3 inches. No egg-bearing lobster may be harvested. Lobster must be brought ashore whole. Saltwater fishing license and lobster permit required unless exempt. Details at www.myfwc.com.
Aug. 10: Basic boating safety class offered by Coast Guard Auxiliary, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the headquarters building at Spanish River Park, 3939 N. Ocean Blvd., Boca Raton. Fee $35 (or $5 for youths ages 12-19). Register at the door. Bring lunch. Call 391-3600. Leave a message.
Aug. 10: Lobsterfest featuring food, music, nautical art, pet costume contest and children’s activities, noon to 8 p.m. at Sailfish Marina, 98 Lake Drive, Palm Beach Shores. Admission $10. Children 12 and under free. Call 844-1724 or go to www.sailfishmarina.com/lobsterfest.
Aug. 24: Basic boating safety class offered by Coast Guard Auxiliary, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the classroom building next to the boat ramps, Harvey E. Oyer Jr. Park, 2010 N. Federal Highway, Boynton Beach. Fee $20. Register at the door. Call 331-2429.
Tip of the month
Looking for some water-related summer reading? Check out Fifty Women Who Fish, by veteran South Florida outdoors writer Steve Kantner (Wild River Press, $59.95). The book profiles anglers from throughout the country, including two from Palm Beach County: Maggie Luneke of Palm Beach Gardens and Allison Montgomery Stattner of Tequesta.
Willie Howard is a freelance writer and licensed boat captain. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.