ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. – They call themselves Team Reelin, a fitting title for a group of guys who love to reel in kingfish every chance they get.
But moments after the final weigh-in of Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour event in Atlantic Beach, the only thing reeling was each team members’ brain as they tried to process the fact that they had just won their first FLW Kingfish Tour event.
“This feels awesome – I mean incredible,” stammered Marc Pincus, still stunned by the victory.
“It’s the shock of the world, baby!” he suddenly exclaimed, as if the reality of his win had just hit home.
The word “shock” is right given Team Reelin’s remarkable trip to victory lane.
That trip actually started on day two at about 5 p.m.
“Yesterday, we had been hard on the rod all day,” Pincus recalled. “We had chummed up one area right out in front of the beaches in 35 to 40 feet of water, and we were pretty much committed to that area. And right about 5 o’clock, just minutes before we had to come in, we had a big kingfish hit a bluefish.”
That kingfish weighed 36 pounds, 2 ounces and allowed Team Reelin to grab the very last top-five qualifying spot.
This morning, with winds predicted to blow even harder than yesterday, Team Reelin, which also includes team members Shawn Brantley, Eric Moore and Zack Lynam, decided to dance with what delivered their top-five berth.
“We went right back to the same exact spot and started chumming again this morning,” added Pincus. “And about 8:30, we got a fish on and that was the one that won it for us.”
For the record, Team Reelin’s day-three fish weighed 28 pounds, 4 ounces, and when combined with their day-two fish, it gave them a tournament total of 64 pounds, 6 ounces, enough for the team’s first Kingfish Tour win.
The team collected $40,000 for their win, the most money the team has ever won in a kingfish tournament.
Predator feasts on second
Team Predator weighed in a 21-pound, 6-ounce kingfish to go with their 36-pound, 6-ounce day-one king for a two-day total of 57 pounds, 12 ounces.
Wood chose to take his team to Drum Inlet all week, including today. After fishing out in front of the Drum for a while, big seas chased the team back inside, where they scored the second-place fish on a mullet fished on top.
“Mullet and menhaden were our baits of choice this week,” Wood said. “We fished everything on top in water 20 to 50 feet deep.”
Logan’s Run finishes third
Logan made a run back to the east, where he caught his day-one fish, but the wind just would not let them fish effectively.
“After that we just came back into the (Beaufort) inlet here,” Logan said. “I knew there were plenty of big fish close, but for some reason, they just turned off today. If I had it to do over again, I would have done the same thing.”
In the end, Logan’s Run did end up with a 14-pound, 9-ounce king today, which helped secure them in third as the other two teams failed to weigh in a fish.
Hard Way strikes out, finishes fourth
The day-two leading team, Team Hard Way, consisting of Captain Todd Korker, Joshua Denton and Marty Koehler, came up empty-handed today, leaving them in fourth place with 41 pounds, 7 ounces worth $14,660.
The high-spirited team mounted the stage with a heavy-looking fish bag. But it was full of water balloons, which they used to give Team Reelin a victory splash.
“We had been making a pretty good run the last two days, but given the shorter day and the wind today, we decided to stay close to maximize our fishing time this morning,” said Denton. “We were in the right area, we just did not get bit … but that water balloon bash sure was fun.”
Team McNeill finishes fifth
“We jumped the shoals this morning, went out to 30-minute Rock for a while and then came back into the inlet,” Phillips said. “We’ve caught good fish in that inlet all week, and today we just couldn’t get a bite in there.”
Team McNeill ended up with a $12,890 payday for their finish.
Team of the Year
With the conclusion of the fourth and final Kingfish Tour event in Atlantic Beach, the Land O’Lakes Kingfish Tour Team of the Year goes to Team Yozuri/The Fischer King, captained by Ozzie Fischer.
The team’s finishes included a sixth, a 16th, an 18th and 33rd, respectively, giving them a point total of 731.
Following Team Yozuri/The Fischer King was Team Rebecca Ann with 726 points and Team Talkin Trash/BP with 721 points.
Championship coming up
The top 50 teams from the 2007 FLW Kingfish Tour season will now be invited to the no-entry-fee Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour Championship, which will be held in Biloxi, Miss., Nov. 2-4.