by Al Jones
BILOXI- Clarence Seymour and the Double Trouble
Fishing Team pulled off a last-minute comeback Sunday to claim the
14th Annual Gorenflo's Cobia Tournament at Point Cadet Marina. And
they did it in record fashion.
When Weighmaster Danny Pitalo read the scales at 67.6 pounds as
the scales closed, Seymour and his crew were standing atop the 71-boat
field with a tournament aggregate record of 315.89 pounds for five
cobia. The Double Trouble team eclipsed the old mark of 310 pounds,
set in 1996.
"That is the fish we needed," Seymour native said.
"We hooked the fish at 2:30 and we were leaving Chandeleur at 3.
We just made it. This is the first win. Last year we were fifth,
which was our highest."
When Seymour and his crew of Brad Sams of Ocean Springs, Eric Gill
of Biloxi, Darney Derouen of Biloxi and Carl Peebles of North Biloxi
arrived at the scales, they found themselves trailing Russell Webb
of Ocean Springs and the Sandbartender team by 12 pounds.
Webb and his crew of Dustin Trochessett, Kenny Kuhn
and Chase Webb had taken the lead from third-day leader Double Trouble
with a 67-pounder on Sunday that pushed their five-fish weight to
But Seymour and his crew hit the scales 10 minutes
before closing with the 67-pounder to beat the Sandbartender crew
by just over 20 pounds.
"We finally got what we were fishing for," Seymour said. "We saw
the fish come along the side of the boat then the reel went off.
The fish took half the line off the spool on its initial run. The
fight was 20 minutes or so.
"This really feels good. We spent four days at the north tip of
Chandeleur chumming and it paid off." To a tune of $8,000.
The Double Trouble crew's fish weighed 69.5, 67.6, 60.85, 60.4 and
57.54 pounds for 315.89 total pounds and first place.
The Sandbartender crew took home second with 295.15 pounds of fish
and a check of $4,300.
"I thought our fish was bigger," Webb said, We caught
the fish at 6 p.m. (Saturday) and thought it would weigh between
75 and 80 pounds. The fish was 8 ½ inches between the eyes. It was
a big fish. It just didn't weigh what we though. Second place is
our best finish."
In Deep took home the third place check of $2,800 with 277.3 pounds.
Scram-A-Ling was fourth at 264.60 pounds, winning $1,800.
Beefeater was fifth at 264.05 pounds and won $1,000. Escape was
sixth at 251.75 pounds and a check worth $700.
But all the action on the final day wasn't limited to the scales.
After the Beefeater team of Billy Davis weighed a 62-pound cobia,
the fish fell into the Point Cadet Marina as it was being passed
from the dock to the boat. Greg Hebert, who runs the Amberjack charter
boat out of the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor, dove into the water and
retrieved it, earning the approval of the 1,800 spectators on hand.
"It was a great tournament," Pitalo said. "We had some great fish
turned in and we had our record of 310 pounds broken."
The four-day tournament highlights included a 99.95 pound cobia
cauht by Rusty Diaz on Saturday and a 91.2 pounder caught by Webb
on Thursday. Michael fournier of Biloxi caught the biggest fish
on Friday at 71.45 pounds.
The largest fish entered Sunday was a 79.20 pounder by Phil Lechner
aboard the Reel Pressure.