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The Southern Open State Championship 2006 Check here for threads about the Southern Open. Links to forms, info, etc.

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Old 06-26-2006, 10:15 AM   #1
Spearchucker
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Story and pics - SOuthern Open

Well, another Southern Open has come and gone, and Team Relentless has kicked ASS again. While I was not able to defend my title from last year, I was very happy with a third place finish, and also the fact that my boat crew finished 2nd (Ritchie Zacker), 6th (Jerry Lancaster), and 8th (Rich Hermes), so Team Relentless took 4 out of the top 8 spots. Also, a big congratulations to Paul Renner for winning this thing. Paul consistently gets it done, and he kicked ass on Saturday.

The day started really, really early when we met at my house at 2:00 AM. The boat was already loaded, so all we had to do was drive to the ramp. We pushed off the dock at 3:15AM heading for our first spot at about 96 miles out. Their was a NE breeze, along with thunderstorms in the area, so the water was not completely flat early on, more like 2's with an occasional 3. As the day wore on, the seas really flattened out which made the cruise back a cakewalk.

We got to our spot a little after 6:00 AM, and were in the water by 7:10, which was about the earliest we had decent light. Working north to south, we consistently found fish all day. I think we all dropped 8 or 9 times, for a boat total of somewhere around 35 drops. Of that 35, I think maybe 2 drops resulted in no fish, all day. It was a very fishy day.

Here are some pics:

These first two are of my 31# (28 gutted) Yellowfin grouper (Fireback). This is the first one I have ever seen under water, and I have been diving for 24 years. He is on his way to Lee's Taxidermy for a mount.





Here is a pic of Ritchie with his 52# gutted weight Jack, which was 2nd largest jack in the tournament. Rich is also in the shot with his real nice female hog that he shot on the last drop of the day:



Here is myself and Rich with some nice hogs and a jack, back at the dock:

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Old 06-26-2006, 10:16 AM   #2
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Re: Story and pics - SOuthern Open

Here is Rich grunting hard. He strained his mangina doing this:



Here is another pic of my Yellowfin grouper.



My stringer, minus my jack and grouper:



This is Chase who shot out of the east coast, and got the largest snapper in the tournament:



Here is fellow SPUC Wayne Butts winning top freediver trophy.



Here is fellow SPUC Paul Renner picking up the first of the eight or nine trophies he won:



Here is the entire crew with our haul from the prize table:

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Old 06-26-2006, 11:42 AM   #3
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Re: Story and pics - SOuthern Open

Great stuff all..!!!

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Old 06-26-2006, 11:46 AM   #4
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Re: Story and pics - SOuthern Open

NICE Fireback!
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Old 06-26-2006, 01:38 PM   #5
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Re: Story and pics - SOuthern Open

NIce!!!!
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Old 06-26-2006, 03:41 PM   #6
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Re: Story and pics - SOuthern Open

Nice going, John + team. Your boat did outstanding. Can't wait for my first fireback.

I love doing this tournament, and of the "big 3" it is probably my favorite as far as the rules. Actually, I like all the tournaments, as it makes it interesting to adopt different strategies. But, I really have to tip my hat to the S.O. rules committee with the changes from last year, because I think the 5 points per fish combined with unlimited weight makes for an interesting tournament. My son Jack is a new diver, and this was his first spearfishing trip where he got to hold his own gun and hunt. Plus, it was his first Middle Grounds trip in the deeper water, therefore, I decided that I would not register in order that Jack could compete, and I could shadow dive with him to make sure he was doing fine and was safe. He had a great time, as did our entire boat. Like any new diver, he needs to work on vision, as he went by a lot of nice grouper. He did shoot his first mango snappers, triggers, grouper, and A.J. (all first fish), and made some fine shots, especially on a marauding 4# mango that was streaking across the ledge. As an aside, I have changed the way I view buddy diving as it relates to spearfishing. The conventional thinking has always been that you get more fish diving solo, and maybe that is true for some of you a-grade commercial shooters. For me, I honestly don't think it costs me a single fish. A lot of times fish will rush in when your buddy shoots a fish giving a prime opportunity. Anyway, I am teaching Jack to buddy dive only, and it makes the diving fun and safe. In the future, we'll both register now that he is getting some experience. I know he is looking forward to the SPO.

Again, my heart-felt "thanks" to everyone who worked hard to do this tournament. Also, thanks to Mike Weinard, Bret W., and Chris H. for helping to make this a memorable trip for my son. Jack would thank you but he is recovering in his room from the removal of 5 wisdom teeth today.


First of many future snappers


Team Gag Order, minus Chris Hudgens. (It's not that I am short, it's just that I am boxed in between Bret who is 6' 3", and Jack is about 6' 4" -- ) And yes, my family is tall, but I got screwed out of the tall gene!

P.S.: Great job Bret and Mike, both shooting in the 120s. Chris only did a couple of drops on account of some recent medical issues, so he did not register. He shot em up good, though.

Last edited by Steel Shootin'; 06-26-2006 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 06-26-2006, 03:53 PM   #7
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Re: Story and pics - SOuthern Open

OMG Scott, I swear the last time I saw your kid he was no bigger than you!!!!!

What are you feeding that kid????
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Old 06-26-2006, 04:07 PM   #8
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Re: Story and pics - SOuthern Open

Very nice report Scott.!


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Old 06-26-2006, 06:02 PM   #9
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Re: Story and pics - SOuthern Open

Congratulations to Paul Renner, Ritchie Zacker, John Hermes, Jason Delacruz, Rich Taylor and Rich Hermes , you guys did real well, especially Rich Hermes, for a guy who doesn't shoot much, he sure did very well, it is probably a good thing for me that Paul Hermes wouldn't take me up on my bet.

Jack McPherson did very well, this was his 2nd time shooting, his 1st tournament and his 1st middle grounds trip, he got about 75 points, that is pretty impressive, especially considering some of the people he scored higher than, if we would have been in area that had Hogs, he would have probably had 100+ points.

Chris Hudgens wasn't sure if he would be able to dive, so he didn't enter the tournament, but he should have, he ended up being able to dive though, on the 1st drop, it was Chris H, Mike W, and the McPherson crew, I was left on the boat, Chris comes up 1st with a limit of Gags, that was a very productive drop.

Thanks to all of the Volunteers, Especially Denny, Rich Taylor, Jason Delacruz and his wife Vicky, and who could forget our Buuddaaaayyy John Schmidt, it was a great tournament, and the scoring system is unique, and makes it a fun event for everyone, I also think the prize table was great, you guys should be proud, I am glad I shot in it.

I think next year I will mug Mike W. and get his mystery ticket, either that or buy Denny off like Mike did.
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Old 06-26-2006, 06:10 PM   #10
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Re: Story and pics - SOuthern Open

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgbill
you guys did real well, especially Rich Hermes, for a guy who doesn't shoot much, he sure did very well, it is probably a good thing for me that Paul Hermes wouldn't take me up on my bet.
I got on Pauls ass pretty good for not taking you up on it, because in a pinch, if I had to pick the better shooter, I would say Paul is a little better than Rich. He shot real well out of Bayport a couple of weeks ago. I had big lumber on it if he took you up on it, cause, no offense, he would have kicked your ass.
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Old 06-26-2006, 06:16 PM   #11
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Re: Story and pics - SOuthern Open

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spearchucker
I got on Pauls ass pretty good for not taking you up on it, because in a pinch, if I had to pick the better shooter, I would say Paul is a little better than Rich. He shot real well out of Bayport a couple of weeks ago. I had big lumber on it if he took you up on it, cause, no offense, he would have kicked your ass.
Get us both out on your boat and we will see.
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Old 06-26-2006, 06:21 PM   #12
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Re: Story and pics - SOuthern Open

Paul - When you read this, let me know your availability. I am going Friday, but I believe the boat is already full.

What about Monday?
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Old 06-26-2006, 09:13 PM   #13
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Re: Story and pics - SOuthern Open

I got 'volunteered' by my boss to come into work on Monday for some bullsh*t, so that's no-go.
I'd have to see about Friday if there was even a spot open. Other than that, I don't have much going on for the next 3-4 weekends.

Bret, I could've sworn your bet was regarding the SPO, not the SO. In either case - sh*t, from what I hear, I only finished 20 pts behind you and I didn't even enter.
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Old 06-26-2006, 10:57 PM   #14
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Re: Story and pics - SOuthern Open

Quote:
Originally Posted by f94gator
In either case - sh*t, from what I hear, I only finished 20 pts behind you and I didn't even enter.
Holy shit what a comeback comment!!! No offense Bret, but that thar is funny!!! Hey Paul and I tied!!!
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Old 06-26-2006, 11:37 PM   #15
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Re: Story and pics - SOuthern Open

Quote:
Originally Posted by f94gator
I got 'volunteered' by my boss to come into work on Monday for some bullsh*t, so that's no-go.
I'd have to see about Friday if there was even a spot open. Other than that, I don't have much going on for the next 3-4 weekends.

Bret, I could've sworn your bet was regarding the SPO, not the SO. In either case - sh*t, from what I hear, I only finished 20 pts behind you and I didn't even enter.
What do you want to bet on the SPO?
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