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We had five days of pleasant weather and exceptional kingfish action until a cold front puffed its way here, carrying horrendous winds and almost intolerable sea conditions.

Mother Nature was obviously unaware that hundreds of anglers would be competing in the Suncoast Kingfish Challenge in Sarasota.

Many anglers fished the entire two-day event in hope of winning a boat motor and trailer valued at $30,000, despite winds of more than 25 knots and 7- to 12-foot seas.

Jeff Hall, his brother Keith and Keith's wife, Dana, made the big score. The brothers were introduced to kingfishing more than 25 years ago and mastered the art of live baiting.

The veteran anglers tucked their way behind the pilings of the Skyway Bridge to avoid harsh winds and chummed up the winning 30-pound fish.

The modest anglers said even a blind squirrel can find a nut sometimes, but anyone who knows the Hall brothers can tell you it was well deserved.

_ Dave Mistretta charters out of the Holiday Inn Harborside at Indian Rocks Beach. (813) 595-3276.