Updated: May 16, 2009
The event pitted 58 teams of three lady anglers and a male Captain and mate against each other, competing to win a first-place prize of $10,000 with a total purse of $25,000 in cash and prizes.
Lady luck was not on these girls side. Weather and fishing conditions were the worst seen this tarpon season. A stiff East wind with gusts of nearly 20 mph caused waves in excess of three feet in Boca Grande Pass.The wind also caused the fishing to by sub par. Dirty water and the presence of sharks made the fish move erratically through the pass. At numerous times during the event, competitors stretched the limit of the tournament boundaries trying to get a bite.
Capt. Ozzie Fischer’s Team Yamaha F350 took an early lead by weighing a 124-pound tarpon within the first hour. That fish would remain atop the FL Fishing Weekly leaderboard for nearly an hour, until Capt. Will Burbach and his team showed up at the Miller’s Ale House weighboat with a 125-pounder.
As is traditional with Miller High Life PTTS events and tarpon fishing in Boca Grande, the drama came within the last hour of the tournament. Capt. Robert McCue’s Team Sign Zoo/GiantTarpon.com hit the Tires Plus scale with a 134-pounder to take the lead, but with only 10 minutes left in regulation time, Capt. Jay Wither’s Team Reactor Watch radioed in with a hook up.
Within 20 minutes, Team Reactor Watch landed the fish and headed for the Ale House weighboat. The fish tipped the Tires Plus scale at 135 pounds.
“It was awesome!” Withers said. “The girls did a great job hooking and fighting the fish. The teamwork was unbeatable.”
With the victory Team Reactor received first prize of $10,000. Second place went to Team Sign Zoo/GiantTarpon.com, who received $5,000. Team CaptainWillBurbach.com, Yamaha F350, and MyEls.com finished 3rd, 4th, and 5th, respectively.
The Miller High Life PTTS presented by Century Boats Ladies Day is the largest and richest live-release women’s fishing tournament in the world, featuring five regular season events and one championship event all held in Boca Grande Pass, Fla.