Pompano Beach Saltwater Slam Team Tito’s SKA

The second leg of the Pompano Beach Saltwater Circuit in known as the Saltwater Slam.  Team Tito’s fished this event trying to move up the leader board and secure a win the Southern Kingfish Association division 10. The weeks leading up to the tournament the water near our bait pens was very fresh. Fresh water is not good for saltwater baits. We managed to keep enough alive to go fishing.  We loaded our Mercury Powered Yellowfin 23 and headed to check out.

 

Saltwater Slam - Team Tito's Handmade Vodka Yellowfin Mercury Verado

We started fishing just north of the Hillsboro inlet.  We got right on the fish and put 3 kingfish in the boat in about an hour.  All of them under 25 pounds.  We decided that we would make the run to Jupiter.  We buttoned everything up and took off.  We setup off of Lost Tree and started our first drift.  We continued to catch small kings, but not the big one we went looking for.  We stuck it out for the rest of the day in Jupiter and could not break the 28 pound mark.  We had a long run back so we headed to the scales with a boat full of kings.

Saltwater Slam - Team Tito's Handmade Vodka weighing kingfish caught with Sceptre rods on our Yellowfin

 

We had enough weight with our 4 kings to qualify to fish the Saltwater Showdown.  We have one more tournament to try to move up the leader board in the SKA division 10 small boat class.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka Fishing Team does Fish Stock New Smyrna Beach, FL

This past weekend Team Tito’s attended a really fun event in North Florida known as Fish Stock.  Tito’s Handmade Vodka has been involved with this event for the past few years.  The event ran from Thursday to Sunday.  They have 2 fishing tournaments during those days.  The offshore tournament is called the “Striker Offshore Challenge.”    The in-shore tournament is the “Redfish-Trout Challenge.”  This year the offshore tournament only fished on Friday.  Mother nature decided to bring the wind about midnight Friday night forcing the cancellation of the second day.  “Virgin Hooker” took top boat for the tournament with a couple nice Yellowfin Tunas.  The in-shore tournament was won buy Mike Marple and Rubin Diaz.  The fishing tournament is only part of this great event.  We joined the Ofishulz crew and brought the boat up to display at the boat show.  Yellowfin Yachts had delivered a beautiful bay boat so we setup right next to them.

Team Tito's Yellowfin Mercury setup at Fish Stock

Team Tito’s Yellowfin Mercury setup at Fish Stock

This was also the first event for the new Tito’s Handmade Vodka sampling tent.

 

Tito's Handmade Vodka sampling tent at Fish Stock

Tito’s Handmade Vodka sampling tent at Fish Stock

We watched the team weigh-in for the Stryker Challenge on Friday.  After the weigh-ins we met the Ofishulz guys at Clancy’s for dinner.  We bar hopped downtown New Smyrna and had a great time. Saturday morning Grant, Scotty, and I joined the Fishing Florida Radio team live on air.  This is when things got crazy.  Make sure you go and check out the podcast.  From meeting Crabman to Scotty springing a leak the FFR crew knows how to have a good time.

Live on Fishing Florida Radio

Live on Fishing Florida Radio

After the radio show we helped setup the booths and the people started piling in.  I can’t say it enough this a fun event.  If you are looking for a good time next year make sure you check out Fish Stock in New Smyrna.

Tito's and FFR

Tito’s and FFR

Ofishulz

Ofishulz

 

 

 

 

Pompano Saltwater Shootout SKA Tournament in the Team Tito’s Mercury Yellowfin

This past weekend Team Tito’s fished one of South Florida’s best tournaments series The Saltwater Shootout.  This is the first tournament in a three part series hosted by Bluewater Movements.  I will come back to them in a minute.  The week leading up to this tournament turned out to be very interesting.  The week started with some modifications to the live wells on the 23 Yellowfin.  Mark Peterson added a second well to the front of the boat to hold an additional 40 gallons.  The 23 Yellowfin is an SKA boat, but it only has a single 50 gallon live well in the transom.  Capt. Kyle convinced me that we needed to add more.  It turns out adding bait storage was the easiest part of the process.  Keeping the bait alive before the tournament proved to be the most difficult part.  We had 2 teams fishing for bait the week before the tournament.  Both team had great success, and both teams had all of the bait die in the pens.  We figured out that fresh water released in the spill ways was killing the bait.  The guys had to get to work and catch more bait.  Once the new bait was caught we moved all of our pens to a different location and that did the trick.

Now back to Bluewater Movements.  This is a top notch organization.  They go all out in every aspect of the tournament production.  They take great care of the the sponsor and participants.  The captains meeting was excellent as usual.  These guys are smart enough to have the captains meeting on Thursday night.

Team TItos Captains meeting yellowfin SKA

Team TItos Captains meeting yellowfin SKA

Saltwater Shootout Captains Meeting crowd.  Tito's SKA Yellowfin

Saltwater Shootout Captains Meeting crowd. Tito’s SKA Yellowfin

 

 

 

 

Saturday morning tournament time.  We loaded the baits and headed to the check out.  With 137 boats this check out gets very busy.  The best part of Bluewater tournament check outs are the Chic fil a biscuits.  Since this is another Division 10 SKA tournament we had a plan to go find the Kings.

Team Titos Yellowfin at check out for SKA

Team Titos Yellowfin at check out for SKA

Team Titos Yellowfin at check out

Team Titos Yellowfin at check out

 

The 7am Bimini start is sure to get the blood flowing.  We ran to our first spot and and set up our spread.  The action was intense for the first few hours.

 

Joe on a kingfish on the Yellowfin 23

Joe on a kingfish on the Yellowfin 23

 

John with a 20lb SKA kingfish

John with a 20lb SKA kingfish

 

 

Scott, Joe, and Jamie with a kingfish

Scott, Joe, and Jamie with a kingfish

 

 

 

 

We stayed on the bite for a couple of hours and loaded up on smaller kingfish.  We could not find the big boys this time.  Once things slowed we tried to go catch some tunas.  We caught a couple more small kings but that was all.  We had run out of time and had to head to the weigh-in.  The cove inside the inlet comes alive for the weigh-ins.  We anchored inside and waited our turn.

Team Tito's at the weigh-in

Team Tito’s at the weigh-in

 

We had a great time fishing one of South Florida’s premier tournaments.

Team Tito’s wins SKA Small Boat Class in the West Palm Beach Greater 440

The West Palm Beach Greater 440  is a great SKA tournament that is held at the Lake Park Harbor Marina in Lake Park Florida.  This event is the second event on the SKA Division 10 calendar.  This is a 2 day tournament format.  Team Tito’s started Saturday again with just 4 of the team members.  This time it was John that had to sit out with a previous commitment.  The team headed out to the Boynton Beach area and setup around 6:45am.  The action was steady with a bunch of small fish.  They continued to move north looking for bigger fish as the day went on.  In the early afternoon they hooked a good fish estimated to be in the 40 pound range.  After fighting the fish for just a few minutes the wire leader broke.  This would be the story of the day.  The wire leader broke on 2 more good size fish.  Team Tito’s weighed a small king at 25.21lbs and brought a nice cobia home for dinner.Team Tito's SKA Saturday Fish

 

Sunday morning saw day 2 of the SKA Greater 440.  With all of Team Tito’s on the boat for this day we had a renewed determination.  Captain Kyle found the fish at the end of the day and Saturday and that was our destination.  We got setup in in our spot and started our drift.  Once the sun got up the bite started.  We again had plenty of fish in the 25 lb range.  John caught a nice 20+lb blackfin tuna on the second drift.  Later Jamie and John had to keep the Sailfish out of our spread as we almost had a double header on the kite baits.  Next up was Ryan with another big blackfin tuna.  We decided to try another spot looking for a bigger fish.  On our first drift we had a big king miss the short kite bait  only to return and get it on his second pass.  We all saw it eat, but some how he avoided our hooks.  We reset and tried again.  This time Jamie was on the kite and again we had a big king miss the first pass.  Then his little brother hit it.  This fish turned out to be our biggest fish at 28lbs.  Joe and Ryan ran the flat lines at the back of the boat and also had a couple nice fish get bite through the wire.  As time ran out we hoped that a 28 would get us on the board in small boat.

Team Tito's SKA Sunday Fish
A few of the fish we caught on Sunday

Team Tito's SKA Greater 440 waiting for the weigh-in 1 Team Tito's SKA Greater 440 waiting for the weigh-in 2
Waiting to dock for the weigh-in

Team Tito's First Place SKA Division 10 Greater 440 Trophy

Team Tito’s getting our trophy.

We would like to thank all of our sponsors.  Ocean Slayer did our shirts.  Ray and Stingray Tackle took care of all our tackle supplies.   OceanLED is sending us even more underwater lighting.  Ofishulz designed the coolest wrap on the water.  And of course Tito’s Handmade Vodka the best sponsor a team could have.

Team Tito’s SKA Fishing Big Brother Big Sister

This past Saturday Team Tito’s fished the Southern Kingfish Association division 8 season opener.  Now Division 8 is not our home area, but we thought we would give it a shot.  Team Tito’s anglers Joe and Jamie have been catching bait for the past couple of weeks.  They got together Friday morning and loaded the bait tanks with our Goggs and Runners.  With Joe expecting the birth of his son he knew he was going to have to sit this one out.  Jamie got on his way to Ft. Pierce to meet Captain Kyle and Ryan.  Those 3 met up in Ft. Pierce and headed out to do a little pre fishing along with Ofishulz man Scotty.  Mean while I got the Mercury powered Yellowfin ready back in West Palm.  The guys had great success pre fishing up north of Ft. Pierce.  I arrived later that afternoon and met up with our OceanLED rep Capt. John Mitchell.  He helped me get the boat docked at the Ft. Pierce City Marina.  The staff at the marina are some of the nicest people you will meet.  The Marina is in great shape and is easy to get to.  Once the boat was secure I headed to the hotel and then the captains meeting.  The captains meeting was great.  Our sponsor Tito’s Handmade Vodka came through with a killer party kit for the raffle.  After the captains meeting I met the guys back at the hotel to discuss our game plan.  Since they had found the fish we decided to head back to the cove first thing.

The morning of the tournament was the classic “Late Start.”  Once we finally got going we made it just in time.  We ran up to the cove only to find that all the life from the day before was gone.  The wind and waves had kicked up the silt.  We fished the spot for about an hour and decide to move.  We took off south about 17 miles and the water looked better.  We started to see birds and bait.  About 20 minutes into our first drift I hooked a Bonita on the long kite bait.  With a safe release we kept fishing the drift.  The short kite bait got hit next.  This one turned out to be a small rat King that did not get a hook.  Things slowed down from that point on.  We tried a few more drifts and move to a couple more sport, but no luck.  This weekend was hard work for very little reward.  When we got back to the dock the team was greeted by the Team Tito’s support crew and fan club.  The team walked over the weigh-ins and tossed some awesome Ocean Slayer gear to the crowd.  In the end the boat looked great, ran great, the team looked great.  Thanks to our sponsors Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Ocean Slayer, OceanLED, Ofishulz, Fishing Florida Radio, Dreamshare, Yellowfin, Mercury, Stingray Fishing Outfitters, E-SeaRider beanbags, and Tackle webs.  Next weekend is the Greater 440 in Lake Park.  This is a 2 day tournament.  We will be returning to defend our title in small boat and move up 1 spot overall to 1st place.

 

Jace is cheering on Team Tito's SKA fishing team

Jace is cheering on Team Tito’s SKA fishing team

Daddy gets a hug after a rough day of fishing
Daddy gets a hug after a rough day of fishing

This is the first group picture of The Tito's Handmade Vodka Fishing Team for 2013
This is the first group picture of The Tito’s Handmade Vodka Fishing Team for 2013

 

 

Team Tito’s SKA fishing team boat wrap almost ready

Steve Diossy the founder and artist for Ofishulz has been working on the Team Tito’s wrap. We saw the finished product this weekend. Let me tell you it is incredible. We will be sending the boat to get wrapped this week. Stay tuned for pictures and the date of the unveiling party.