Crosswait tournament fosters high ideals
PHOTO/CAPTAIN TODD FULLER
From left, Fly Division Winners Jason Siller, of Flint Creek
Outfitters, Roger Williams, Chris Helt, Ethan Nash and
Bob Gause. At far right is Hell's Bay Boatworks owner Chris Peterson.
The Annual Crosthwait Memorial Fishing Tournament was held this past weekend at the Bradenton Yacht Club. The tournament was established 28 years ago as a tribute to Col. Sam Crosthwait and to further his high ideals of sportsmanship and camaraderie among Florida west coast anglers. The popular tournament has grown over the years due to the professional manner in which it is organized and by being sensitive to the trends that have developed in the sport fishing industry. Over the years the tournament has adopted a photo and release policy on inshore fish and billfish and this year added a fly fishing division. While final results were not available at press time anglers fishing the offshore division battled large seas and managed to catch and release two large blue marlin along with numerous other species.
The tournament organizers set the Fly Fishing Division fishing times from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday May 14. This is a departure from the general tournament rules, where fishing begins after the Captain's Meeting Friday night and continues until 5 p.m. on Sunday. Organizers were smart in their choice of daylight hours for the division and also allowed contestants to launch from any convenient ramp. The tournament included Amateur Division as well as an Open/Pro Division, Top Individual Amateur, Top Amateur Team, Top Club and Top Slam. Anglers scored points according to species. Species included redfish, snook, trout, tarpon, bluefish, cobia, flounder, pompano, sheepshead, snapper and permit. Winners of the fly fishing Division were Jason Siller, of Flint Creek Outfitters, Roger Williams, Chris Helt, Ethan Nash and Bob Gause. While the number of entrants in this year's fly fishing division weren't large, they managed to attract some heavy weight sponsors, including premier shallow water boat builder Hell's Bay Boatworks.