30.55 Pound Striper Wins The Shotout!
After almost three days of fishing in the 10th annual Mid-Atlantic Rockfish Shootout everybody was tied for first place. Nothing at all had been caught. Most fish were well outside of the three mile limits, where they are illegal to keep.
So the scenario made Saturday, the final day of the tournament, more than a little nerve-wracking for it’s nearly 180 teams. And at high noon on the last day, it appeared the tournament prize money; $217,654.00 would be awarded by drawing according to the tournament rules.
Until finally one rod went off, the Miss Susie II was hooted up and Leonardtown, Md angler, John Weber would be a lot richer after a two-minute battle …..$176,000 richer to be exact!
“I wasn’t thinking much about it until the mate had his hand on the leader,” said Weber. John and his team are no strangers to the Mid-Atlantic Rockfish Shootout; his team won almost $40,000 in last year’s Shootout.
“We knew that nobody else had caught anything. We worked really hard after that to try and get another one, but that was it. And it was enough.”
Tournament founder and director Mike Standing
“It’s incredible that it’s come down to one fish,” said Standing, Virginia Beach is Striper Capital of the World, and three-fish limits of more than 100 pounds are the norm. “It’s been frustrating and exciting.”
The Virginia Beach businessman added that the lack of fish had a negative side effect. The Shootout annually has given thousands of pounds of fish filets to area food kitchens.
“In our best year, we donated enough fish for more than 14,000 meals,” Standing said. “It’s very disappointing to not have anything to donate this year.
“But this has been one to remember for sure.”
Below are the Drawing Winners:
Winners from last night’s drawing: 2nd Place: Dirty Murph, $15,510, 3rd Place: Seakeeper 2, $9,306, 4th Place: Max King’s Marine, $6,204, 5th Place: Jezebel, $4653, 6th Place: Sportsman 1, $2326.50, 7th Place: Reel Freedom, $775. Tuna Calcutta Drawing: Pimpfish Pirates Boat 120, $5,456. Early Bird Raffles: Daddy’s Dream, $1000, Fin Seeker, $1000, Murphy’s Irish Pub, $1000. Congratulations and thanks for a really fun tournament!