Photos of a 67-inch tarpon and a 45-inch pike have made two anglers, Sean Riley of New Port Richey, FL, and Brian Papenhagen of Blissfield, MI, grand prize winners in the 2011 BoatUS Angler Catch of the Month fishing photo contest. Their grand prize includes a high quality fish replica from Mount This! Fish Company that specializes in hand-painted fiberglass replicas and a gift certificate from BoatNameGear.com.
Riley and Papenhagen will also have their BoatUS Angler on-the-water and roadside assistance towing plan upgraded to “Unlimited” status, which can help these anglers 24-hours a day with breakdowns on the water and will tow a disabled boat trailer and tow vehicle up to 100 miles to your home, repair facility or other safe spot.
Riley spotted his fish last summer in a school of five tarpon running for mullet while trolling the shallows just off the beach on Florida’s Anclote Key. Once the refrigerator-sized fish was hooked, it made a dash for the sky and “felt like a huge log,” said Riley, heating up his reel during the hour-long battle. The silvery behemoth headed straight for the Gulf and did a U-turn before Riley could land it. The fish was the biggest yet for the angler, who gently revived the giant before releasing it.
Papenhagen’s pike was caught last spring on a large red and white Daredevil at Wrong Lake, Manitoba. A catch-and-release lake accessible only by floatplane, Papenhagen was told by a guide to hit the lake’s incoming streams, where Pike are known to forage for fingerlings. Once Papenhagen found his spot, the lunker struck taking nearly all the line out of the reel four times as it dove repeatedly to the safety of lake’s bottom trying to wait it out. For Papenhagen, this was the “right” fish on Wrong Lake to earn him a full-scale replica.
Next year’s contest starts in April 2012. For more information on BoatUS Angler and the fishing photo contest, go to www.BoatUSAngler.com.