Tournament Reports – Jacksonville Trout Tournament
Every year, the Jacksonville Speckled Trout tournament gives anglers a chance to celebrate the start of trout season in a big way. Unlike a lot of other trout tournaments, this event allows anglers to limit out on legal fish and bring up to four specks per person to the scales, with both live and artificial baits being approved. The focus is on fun and healthy competition, and every year the tournament continues to provide both.
Tournament Director Daniel Sbrocco was worried that the event might not be able to happen in 2018 due to the effects of Hurricane Florence, but he was ultimately able to pull everything together (with the help of his sponsors) and provide his anglers with a good time and solid prize money after all.
First place winners Ricky Kellum and Richard Peterson walked away with $1,350, with Kellum proudly saying, “We won a four-fish tournament with only two fish. We fished from 7:00 am to 2:30 pm and caught two trout… but they were the winning two!”
Kellum and Peterson weighed in a 4.8 lb. speck (the biggest fish in the tournament) and a 4.6 lb. speck for a total weight of 8.80 lbs. Both fish were caught in the New River on live shrimp.
David Banks and Jeremy Collins took second place and $750 with a three-fish aggregate of 7.49 lbs., while Walter and Evelyn Giese rounded out the top three with 5.61 lbs. worth of trout (they had three total, and won $500).
In the Big Fish division, Jake Gayney and Chris Smith won second place and $210 for their 3.61 lb. speck, while Brandon Weston, Chris Aloia, and Bailey Weston took third with a trout weighing 2.95 lbs.
Keri Hilton, who was fishing her first tournament and had gotten married only a week prior, won the Lady Angler division with a 4.58 lb. trout, the second largest fish in the tournament.