Team Crush Groove won the second event in the Alabama Inshore Championship Tournament Trail series, held June 23, 2012, in Mobile, Ala.
Rick Tourne and Donald Garrettson, both of Mobile, brought in an inshore slam of one redfish, one speckled trout and one flounder to the tournament weigh station at the Bluegill restaurant on the Mobile Bay Causeway to win with 18.73 points. For the effort, Team Crush Groove took home a check for $240. The team currently holds 10th place overall in the four-event series with 24.16 points.
“We fished the middle part of Mobile Bay with tight lines and pogies around structure,” Garrettson said. “We were fished oyster reefs in about five to eight feet of water. We caught about 10 trout, four reds and four flounder, all in that same general spot.”
Under tournament rules, each two-person team could weigh in one redfish between 16 and 26 inches in length, one trout and one flounder. Each pound of total weight for the three fish weighed equaled one point. Any team that brought in an inshore slam consisting of all three species received an additional five points. Team Crush Groove anchored its catch with a solid 3.8-pound flounder.
“We feel great about winning this event,” Tourne explained. “We came up short on redfish in the first one. We caught the flounder on a Berkley Gulp. The action was sporadic. We just ground it out.”
Team Reel Feel takes second
Taking second place among the 43 teams entered, Team Reel Feel placed second with a three-fish slam weighing 12.11 pounds. With the bonus five points for the slam, they ended with 17.11 points to earn a check for $160. Comprised of Trenny Woodham of Mobile and L. W. Burroughs of Crestview, Fla., the team currently holds 11th place overall in the series with 23.79 points.
“We fished up the Mobile River and stayed up there the whole day,” Woodham advised. “We threw live pogies on a free line in about eight to 15 feet of water. We only caught one speck, two reds and a flounder. We caught the flounder on a chartreuse grub.”
Team loophole on a roll
Team Loophole finished third in the June tournament with a slam weighing 11.11 pounds for a total of 16.11 points with the bonus. The father and son duo of Darryl and Ryne Vincent from Theodore, Ala., leads the series with 31.20 points. For third place, they pocketed a check for $160. The Vincents caught three specks, three flounder and a redfish, but had to work for their slam.
“We didn’t catch that redfish until about 1:06 p.m.,” Darryl lamented. “We lost one earlier. We needed to complete the slam. It was a great tournament. I hope it’s around for many years.”
Anglers could also enter an optional Speckled Trout Jackpot with the biggest single trout taking the cash prize. Team Loophole also won that title with a 5.88-pound speck to collect an additional $480.
“We fished out in Mobile Bay by Dauphin Island not far from Fort Morgan,” Ryne revealed. “We threw anything live — croakers, shrimp, mullet — anything we could find. We fished on the bottom in about 12 to 15 feet of water.”
Team Shake-n-Bake, Aaron White and Jeff Kelley, placed fourth in the June tournament with 15.66 points to collect $160. The team currently holds third place overall in the series with 28.58 points. In fifth, Robert and Anthony Dobson of Team BT66 brought in enough for 15.50 points. They hold second place in the series with 29.21 points.
Racking up the points
Anchored by a win in the inaugural Alabama Inshore Championship Tournament Trail event in April, Team Bailey Fishing, brothers Jessie from Daphne, Ala., and Brandon from Mobile, hold fourth in the series with 28.27 points. They placed 17th in the June tournament with 11.81 points. The Sewer Rats, Carl Cieutat and Kevin Owens, hold fifth place in the series with 27.85 points after finishing 11th in June with 13.87 points.
“Everyone had a great time during our second event,” said Alan White, tournament director and publisher of Great Days Outdoors magazine. “Tropical Storm Debby whipped up the Gulf of Mexico during the event, but the competitors found some places out of the weather where they could catch fish. We were able to donate more than $2,000 to benefit Alabama Hunger Relief and donated hundreds of pounds of fish to charity.”
More to come
The next Alabama Inshore Championship Tournament Trail event will be held Aug. 18 out of Fowl River Marina, followed by a Sept. 15 season-ender at Bayou La Batre. All anglers must launch and fish in Alabama waters. However, competitors may trailer their boats to the weigh-in venues. At the end of the season, the top 20 points earners will be invited to participate in the Causeway Invitational Championship tournament, slated for Oct. 13, 2012. This event will crown the 2012 Alabama state champion inshore fishing team.
For complete results, see the Alabama Hunger Relief page on Facebook. For more information, call White at 800-597-6828.