Ryan Stoufer and Jason Shuffler, fishing from a 17-foot boat, Boston Smokers, may have won a local tournament in the shortest time ever.
At 7:15 a.m. Saturday they were about 75 yards from the Sunshine Skyway bridge. Moments after setting their lines, a 34.3-pound king mackerel took Stoufer's bait. By 7:35 he had the winning fish in the boat and was headed to the dock for the Old Salts tournament. The win earned him the title "King of the Beach" for six months, until the spring migration of kingfish and the spring version of the tournament.
Bill Nimmo on Fat Chance took second with a 34.06-pounder. Fishing near the first marker from the Skyway, his team also headed for shore after boating the fish.
Steve Hays on Apex (31.74) was third. Reel Quick was fourth, Outer Limits fifth, each with a 31.32-pound fish. The junior angler award went to Allie Farnsworth, 7, with a 17.86-pounder on Radio Fish. Keelie Oar on Brydes Marine would have won third overall with 32.86 but entered it in the woman's division, which she won.
Rusty Fox finished in 15th with 23.9 and won a surprise award of a boat and motor.
_ To get in touch with Larry Blue, call (727) 397-3773 or send him an e-mail, CaptLBlueaol.com.