Guy Harvey Magazine

WIN 2012

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 57 of 83

BY CAPT. DAVE LEAR Keep It Fun Hello. My name is Dave and I'm a tournament addict. I've been suffering from this disease for 25 years. I've tried to quit, I really have. But, it's no use. I absolutely love fishing saltwater tournaments. I'm a full-blown, weigh-scale junkie. It all started innocently enough. I convinced my nephew we could win big in the local Optimist tourney. We caught some hefty Spanish mackerel and sheepshead. But, when they didn't place, my competitive nature took over. I was hooked. The experimentation continued beyond rodeos. Wide-open king mackerel marathons, an inshore extravaganza using supplied lures, and even a contest with simply two flies were the next challenges. I managed to take home some hardware, but my appetite still wasn't sated. I had to have more. So, I moved up to the hard stuff—big game. I notched the rod with my first blue marlin in the Big Rock. I chased sailfish up and down the Yucatan. One summer, I even gaffed the winning dolphin during the Pensacola International. It thumped my calf so hard with its tail I had a bruise for a month. Served me right for not getting in on the calcutta. My ultimate moment of glory came in the gorgeous bronze marlin sculpture for first place and bragging rights for the next 12 months. Of course, we had to return to defend our title. As Team Dark Horsemen, we Caribbean, however. It was there, during the International Billfish Tournament in San Juan, that my teammates and I made history. Representing the sportfishing press, Mike Micciche and I scored four blues and a white marlin to put us in contention. On the last afternoon, Edison Irvine put us over the top by adding another blue. It was the first time the IBT had been won solely on release points. We each took home a As Team Dark Horsemen, we wore polo shirts with the logo of a cub reporter holding a bent rod, sitting on a squatting jackass. Yeah, we were bad... We scored a big smelly skunk for our cockiness. wore polo shirts with the logo of a cub reporter holding a bent rod, sitting on a squatting jackass. Yeah, we were bad. We were going to catch fish and take names, all right. As fate would have it, our game plan and execution didn't quite match. We scored a big smelly skunk for our cockiness. But we sure had fun. And that's the name of the tournament game. It's got to be fun. Otherwise, what's the point? Okay. Truthfully, that's not just a rhetorical question. The answer is money. Cold, hard cash. Only a handful of tournaments award trophies instead of checks. The IBT and the West Palm Beach Fishing Club's Silver Sailfish Derby top that list. The Derby celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2012 while the IBT is 59. Both are long-time conservation leaders, by the way. The majority of tournaments dole out cash or big-ticket prizes and the amounts can be staggering. As in thousands, even millions of dollars for a single fish. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's part of the game. To win requires skill and luck. Think of it as another form of organized gambling, only the pull is on the line instead of the slot machine handle.

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