Sunday, June 10, 2012


Home in Port Charlotte
Forecast high of 94*

The premier bait and tackle store in Port Charlotte is called Fishin' Franks.  They carry a huge selection of all things fishing.  The owner, Frank, started working in his Dad's store in 1984 and he bought it in 1992.  He is a wealth of fishing knowledge and big fan of little kids.  I remember bringing my little Billy in there 4 years ago and Frank giving him a lure for free and telling him how to use it.

Every summer Fishin' Franks hosts "One Night to Fish," an annual tournament for shark, catfish and stingray.  The fishing begins at 3:30PM on a Saturday and weigh-in/measuring occurs Sunday morning between 8 and 9 AM.  The buy-in was only $30 and thousands of dollars in prize money was paid out.  Although I've never fished it, this year I decided to attend the results.  Cash was paid down to 4 spots with the winning shark and catfish each netting $1,000 and the 4.68 pound catfish netting $800.

It was great fun; I always enjoy getting a few minutes of face time with Frank.  Below are some photos from the event:  (Click on images for full screen)

The lighter colored ray won the $800 first prize for Rays. The darker one took 4th and cashed in $140.

The 2nd place Ray; lines are from sitting in his truck bed all night after he caught it at 7PM.

Fishin' Frank displays his dorsal hat while talking with the 2nd place Ray winners.

The 2nd place (Bull) shark, caught inside Boca Grande Pass, near the Cape Haze Reef.

The $1,000 winning bull shark. Nose to fork measured 68". Overall length was 85".  Caught near Tampa Bay using a 5lb Bonita Tuna as bait on 150lb test line with a 12/0 hook.

The shark meat was kept fresh for donation to the homeless  shelter kitchen.

My favorite photo of the day.

This couple wasn't even close to the cash but I wouldn't argue with them.

Fishin' Frank and his mate Robert measure the winning Ray's wingspan.  It was over 41" wide.

2nd place shark paid $700

Personally....I'd need a bigger boat. 
1st and 3rd place

3 sharks, no waiting

Marine Biologists take samples to analyze the age, health and habits of the sharks.  Frank says the data collected from this one tournament would take scientists many years to collect on their own.

Can you imagine?

The second place shark measured 66" to the fork of the tail. 
In this photo borrowed from Fishin' Franks facebook page, he shows his love for the fishermen of tomorrow.

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