The week leading up to the 22nd Annual Mercury/SeaVee Pompano Beach Saltwater Slam was met by record setting rainfall. The majority of the teams in the 88-boat field experienced tremendous bait loss as a result of the tropical rain. Tournament day for the Slam was reminiscent of the old school days with a large number of the boats catching their tournament baits on the morning of the competition. Captain Skip Dana and his Pop a Top crew members were one of those teams.
A relatively slow bite out front convinced Dana to make the run north to Jupiter after the 7am start. Not long after arriving at their spot, crew member Homer Schmidt hooked up to what he thought was a bonito. The bonito turned out to be a 27.1 pound cobia and there was a second fish with it. They hooked and caught the second cobia and went on to catch another one on their second drift along with four weigher kings and two dolphin that totaled 138.9 pounds – enough to clinch their first victory in the SaltwaterSlam. Homer Schmidt took the top male angler title with 69.9 points and he and his son Cory won the Family Division with 123.6 points. The first place finish earned the team a paycheck for $17,385. More importantly, it secured their lead in the point race for the Simrad sponsored Showdown Crown and the #1 title in competitive meat fishing. Pop a Top finished runner up to team Advanced Roofing/Sailsmen in the 2016 Showdown Crown race.
Team Makin Time/Living Water finished second in the Slam with four kingfish, a dolphin and a tuna for 113.7 points and $8,162 in prize money. Their second place finish also moved them into Showdown Crown contention; eight points behind Pop a Top. Team Blue Moon sits in second place in the Showdown Crown standing, just five points behind Pop a Top.
Offshore Warrior, winners of the 2016 Saltwater Showdown, had a great 2017 Slam tournament as well. They placed third in the tournament and were also the top SKA team with 113.2 pounds, winning $16,586 thanks in large part to a 41.5-pound kingfish. The king was the biggest in its category and tied for the heaviest fish of the tournament with a cobia caught by team Wild Kat. The 41.5 lb cobia swam up between the motors right after they set up a drift off West Palm Beach. Joey Lacalamita pitched a goggle eye to the big cobia and 20 minutes later it hit the deck of their boat. Wild Kat won $9,481.
The Top 5 was rounded out with High Gear in fourth place with 91.8 pounds and Reel Addiction in fifth with 91.4 pounds. Lori Hargrave from team Offshore Warrior was the top female angler with 51.5 points. Trace Bishop of Ice Box was the top junior angler with 38.5 points. Ice Box finished in tenth place overall with 77.5 pounds and won the added value Non-Pro Division for a total of $3,080 in winnings. Fisher Niemann of Cache Money/Bionic Baitset a new Saltwater Slam pee-wee angler record. He weighed in five bonito for a total of 91.7 pounds to claim the top pee-wee spot in the tournament.
Crescendo weighed the heaviest dolphin of the tournament at 21 pounds and Get R Wet had the heaviest tuna at 29.4 pounds. No team brought a wahoo to the scales so the $29,340 KDW jackpot will roll over into the final leg of the PBSC series, the Mercury/SeaVee Pompano Beach Saltwater Showdown on August 5th. The Showdown is open to all teams whether they have fished any prior legs of the PBSC series.To register for the Saltwater Showdown visitwww.saltwatershowdown.com Early entry for the Showdown closes on July 19th. Register now to save $100!
For a complete list of results from the Saltwater Slam visitwww.saltwaterslam.com.