KEY WEST, Florida — A 65.2-pound kingfish catch earned the Beach Marine team top honors at the Key West Kingfish Mayhem Tournament that ended Jan. 14.
Teddy Beach of Fort Myers, Florida, caught the winning fishaboard Prowess, captained by Billy Delph of Sugarloaf Key, Florida.
Other Beach Marine team members were Travis Holeman and the captain’s sons Daniel Delph and David Delph, all of Sugarloaf Key.
“We ran probably about 100 miles on the first day trying to find clean water,” said Beach. “It was an incredible day — a battle all day because the fish were hard to find.”
On the second day, the team was on the reef about 40 miles off Key West when Beach found the winning fish.
“We had a certified scale on the boat and it bottomed that scale out,” said Beach of his catch. “And that had all our attention — we knew we had something to compete with.”
The Xtended Play team, led by angler and captain Ozzie Fischer of Fort Myers, took second place with a 62.4-pounder. Fischer boated the kingfish on the tournament’s first fishing day, leading the field until Beach Marine reported its larger catch.
Third-place honors went to Team Tuppens, skippered by Steve Sprague of Lake Worth, Florida, who caught the team’s 59.2-pound kingfish.
The tournament’s top junior angler was John Searcy of Key West, who landed a 31.2-pound kingfish while fishing on Lightly, captained by his father Jeff Searcy of Key West.
Top female angler was Bri Palaniuk, who scored a 40.4-pound fish. Palaniuk was a member of Team Preferred Marine from Pompano Beach, Florida, alongside Captain Kirk Beattie and Kody Beattie.
The tournament attracted 243 registered participants and 31 registered boats.