The conclusion of the 2018 Captain Mel Classic.  It went extremely well.   We had 68 participants.

The weather was good.   The results were good.

Our judging station, an excellent job by Mark Knowles and John Veil.

Payouts are listed.    For other winners they received prize packs with products from our sponsors.    Entry fees, a portion to Suncoast Animal League, the rest payed out to the winners.     No Motor and Open payed out approximately the same.     Ladies paid out decent with 11 ladies signed up this year.    Fly division down from other years paid out a little less.    The Overall Pool paid out for first place only.    $130 for the longest fish, redfish and trout.   $200 for combined inches.    Guesswork, I believe payouts were fair.   An inexpensive tournament to join with what you get, you have a chance to come out a good winner.    <Holly Rufo:  $300.    Fred McClendon $190 in the Fly Division.    Chuck Stratham a total of $360 for the day.   The big winner, Andrew Robertson $450 plus the Kumpa fish print for his redfish.   >

By division here were the results.  Every year I am interested in the fish caught and how the results end up.   This year, no different.    It was very interesting.   Look at the lengths on the trout caught.    Impressive catches by our participants.     Fishing, some of the best anglers struggled to connect on what they were after.     It is a contest.    That is just the way it goes.    There were people who did not place that are eager for the 2019 event.


1) Katrina Pershing  25.2 inch ($100)
2) Tracy Leas  20.75 inch
3) Holly Rufo  18.7 inch


Holly Rufo  21.3 inch ($100)

Combined inches:

Holly Rufo 40 inches  ($200)


1) Shawn Blanton 23.5 inch  (Rod and reel)
2) Samantha Horn 16.5 inch (Rod)
3) Angelina Rodriguez  11.75 inch  (Rod)


1) Phil Still 16.6 inch ($60)
2) Fred McClendon 15.8 inch
3) Andrew Buda 12 inch


Fred McClendon 20.3 inch ($60)

Combined inches:
Fred McClendon 36.1 ($130)




  • Marc Blanton 24.25 inch ($125)
  • Ramon Lopez 21.6 inch
  • Hunter Koch 19.8 inch
  • Chuck Stratham 19.75 inch


  1. Chuck Stratham 28.75 inch ($125)
  2. Anthony Rufo 21.5 inch
  3. Ramon Lopez 17.5 inch


Combined Inches

  • Chuck Stratham 48.25 inches ($200)
  • Anthony Rufo 1 inches  ($150)
  • Ramon Lopez 39.1 inches


No Motor


  • Michael Vu 25.8 inch ($100)
  • Rick Taylor 23.75 inch
  • Olin Satterfield 22.5 inch


  • Andrew Robertson 28.75 inch ($100)
  • Rick Taylor 28.5 inch
  • Casey Arrowsmith 25.25 inch

Combined Inches:

  • Rick Taylor 52.25 inches Grand prize, new kayak
  • Andrew Robertson 44.85 inches ($150)
  • Casey Arrowsmith 44.75 inches

Bonus Species:  Flounder

No Motor ($70)  Andrew Robertson 13.25 inch

Open ($35)   Chuck Stratham 14.5 inch

Fly ($10)  Chuck Henkel  14 inch

Ladies and Junior, no flounder caught

Overall Pool (46 entries, $460)


Michael Vu    25.8 inch (Payed $130).   Second:  Katrina Pershing 25.2 inch


Andrew Robertson 28.75 inch (Payed $130).   Second:  Rick Taylor and Chuck Stratham tied, 28.5 inch fish.

Combined inches:    Rick Taylor, 52.25 inches (Payed $200)

New for 2017, the longest redfish and longest trout tournament wide got art prints by Kumpa.

This year:   Andrew Roberson won the redfish print and Michael Vu won the trout print.   Beautiful prizes for the biggest fish caught on tournament day.

We will work on a date for 2019.    If we can get a group like this every year, it will be great fun just like it has been every year.    I thank everyone who participated in the Captain Mel Classic.     I will do the sponsor letter soon.    Most came through like usual.    A couple were noticeably absent.      We will do our best to get even more sponsors involved for next year.    A nice addition for 2018 was the guys selling the apparel, decals and mugs.   Jeff and Chris are great local assets.    Yakin Off is their business and they offer some great stuff.     I thank them for their great donations and participation in this year’s Classic!

I had considered turning the event over to someone else next year.    The input from our participants is that they would like me to be the one to continue to run this event.     I do have great assistance.    Kim Ledford was great for the third straight year.   John and Mark ran the judging station like pros.     One scoring glitch was quickly fixed.

Neil Taylor

Tournament director

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