The Old Salts Fishing Club Johnny Keller Inshore Fishing Tournament drew its biggest turnout. The 160 anglers targeted speckled trout, sheepshead, grouper and flounder.
In his first tournament, Ryan Nadeau, 10, won the speckled trout division with a 3.74-pound gator. Using live shrimp, Nadeau caught it on the grass flats at the lower end of Tampa Bay.
Matt Brown won the grouper division with a gag of 14.66 pounds. He was fishing for sheepshead at a bridge when the gag ate his shrimp.
"I just decided to drop a shrimp down and try for something smaller like a trout or flounder," he said. "And lo and behold, the star came up."
Jean Gifford weighed her .98-pound flounder before Zack Nelson caught one of the same size. Gifford caught hers with a three-eights-ounce jig near Tierra Verde.
Hank Manning and Micky Mack fished exclusively for sheepshead. Manning won the division at 6.32 pounds. Mack took second at 6.22. They brought their boat all the way to Venice.
"Most of the areas are fished out up here," Manning said, "because everybody keeps the smaller fish."
_ Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 510-4376 or by e-mail at captainrickluckydawg.com.