Sunday, April 18, 2021

Hunt for Reds in October



By Howard Laskau
Marco Sportfishing Club

Marco Sportfishing Club’s “Hunt for Reds in October” got off to a great start early Saturday morning, October 12, as 40 anglers headed out to the Gulf and the 10,000 Islands in search of two prize-winning redfish.

The “Hunt for Reds in October” is actually two separate fishing tournaments held during MSC’s “Redfish Week.” During this week, MSC club members spend about as much time fishing as they do eating and drinking! “Redfish Saturday” which took place on October 12, involved teams of two anglers whose goal is to bring in the two largest “slot-size” redfish. Current FWC regulations define “slot-size” as between 18 and 27 inches.

This tournament was followed by Marco Sportfishing Club’s signature event…Redfish VIII on October 15 and 16. This tournament is a two-day event in which the anglers compete for individual, boat and team prizes in a number of categories.

Walker’s Marine was the primary sponsor of the tournament, and not surprisingly, Walker’s Coon Key Marina was used as the venue for the tournament on Saturday. Yamaha Motor Corporation and Maverick Boat Company were secondary sponsors of the tournament.

Anglers returned to the Marina at 2:30 PM on Saturday for the Hunt Tournament, and the live weigh-in started. Excitement built as each boat pulled up to the docks to unload their catch and have it weighed. Names on the leader board changed a number of times as bigger fish replaced smaller ones. When all the boats had checked in, the “Red Assassins” team

Winners of the Saturday tournament: The Red Assasins, Captain Nick Milillo and Joe Varano.

Winners of the Saturday tournament: The Red Assasins, Captain Nick Milillo and Joe Varano.

of Captain Nick Milillo and Joe Varano came out on top with a combined weight of 8.46 pounds of redfish. The happy crew earned $500 for their efforts! Close behind, with 8.22 pounds of redfish, was Team “Cool Change” with Captain Keith Wohltman and Jay Jones. Third place went to “The Northern Boys” with Captain Dick Yeaton and Phil Madonia.

In the Redfish VIII competition that took place on Tuesday, October 15 and Wednesday, October 16, there were a total of 30 boats and 66 anglers. A majority of the anglers who fished in the Saturday tournament came back to try their luck in the two-day event as well. Over the course of the two-day tournament, MSC anglers caught a total of 93 redfish with a combined total length of 1,987 inches. Stretched end to end, those 93 fish would cover more than half of a football field! There were a number of noteworthy performances during the event… including a “trophy redfish” measuring 39 ½ inches caught by Dick Yeaton. Jay Jones landed a Redfish with eight spots, and in the “wildcard” category, Bobbie Ordija was thrilled to catch a 32” Snook and win top honors in that category. Team Knot-Head (Capt. Pete Arcidiacono and Steve Wainman) took the top spot in the two-person boat category as a result of Steve’s “legendary” performance in the last hours of the competition. After a disappointing Day One and a slow start to Day Two, Steve ended up with six redfish on Tuesday,

Teams of two brought in their two largest live redfish to be weighed.

Teams of two brought in their two largest live redfish to be weighed.

to push his boat over the top to win their division with a total of eight redfish totaling 168 inches for the two days. In the three-person boat division Team Therapy (Capt. Chris Edgar, Kay-Lee Edgar and Fred Kouhi ) was the top boat with a total of eight redfish measuring a total of 167 inches.

The week was capped off with an Awards Banquet held at Bistro Soleil Restaurant. Chef Denis Meurgue prepared a feast for the hungry fishermen and their guests. As the wine and beer flowed, awards were distributed, and as anyone would expect when fishermen get together… many “fish tales” were told.

The Marco Sportfishing Club is a non-profit organization comprised of more than 350 fishermen, boaters and outdoor enthusiasts who live in the Marco Island, FL area. In addition to enjoying all the outdoor activities this beautiful Southwest Florida location has to offer, the Club prides itself in its ability to “give back” to the community. Members of the club are active and involved in the community and have been instrumental in organizing and staffing many events that teach local children the joys of fishing and good fishing etiquette. The events and organizations MSC has been involved with include the Marco Island Cub Scouts, Marco Island Historical Museum, National Estuaries Day at Rookery Bay, The Naples Kids Fishing Clinic, Goodland’s Birthday Celebration, Naples Botanical Gardens, and the Port of the Isles Kids Fishing Clinic. To find out more about the Marco Sportfishing Club, please go to their website:

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