BOKEELIA, Fla. -- After the dramatic announcement at the end of Day Two that no team was going to be eliminated and all four teams will carry their points into the last day of fishing, Team Hoke, with the lowest point total, feels they can still win the 2012 Madfin Shark Tournament if they get a day of fishing more typical to the area waters.
“It’s just been super slow,” Capt. Dave Hoke said. “We should be catching five or more quality sharks a day right now, and everyone is just struggling for that many bites. After yesterday, I think we have it figured out.”
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Team Hoke had a two-hour flurry of action on a flat east of Redfish Pass that included a nurse, blacktip and lemon shark catches and successful hook removals along with two other big sharks, one of which bit through the 100-pound braided line and the other bit through the 100-pound monofilament shock leader. Those two lost opportunities could have scored major points for the team.
“We just missed some opportunities that we should have capitalized on,” Hoke said. “Hopefully we can put it all together and have our best day today. If we can catch what we hooked yesterday today, we can close the gap of points quickly.”
Team Hoke goes into the last day of fishing with 1,000 points, followed by Team Redzone with 1,300, Team Tenacity with 1,450 and Team Vicious Strikes with 1,950 points. Scoring bonus points for first shark (250) most sharks (250) and biggest shark (500) can easily allow any team to surpass the leaders.
“We’re going with a completely new game plan,” said Capt. Rob Moore of Team Vicious Strikes, which has been catching most of their sharks off Gulf reefs three to five miles from shore. “I think we’re going to fish inside today, and go up into Charlotte Harbor to a deep hole or two. That’s where I guide, that’s what I know well, and we’re going to fall back on what we know.”
Team Redzone, in third place, plans to fish the same area off Cape Hayes Reef that they’ve fished throughout the event. Action there has been spotty, but a big bull shark they caught at the end of Day Two has provided the encouragement that two days of liberally chumming the area waters has finally pulled in a viable population of big sharks.
“We’ve seen big hammerheads and bull sharks caught off that area in the past, so we’re going to go and do what we know best. It’ll play out on the spot we have the most confidence in,” Capt. Mike Manis of Redzone said.
Team Tenacity with Capt. Bo Johnson and Deidra Bridger also had good action on Day Two, and will return to the same area near Captiva Pass where they feel there are sharks in the area that can win the event.
“We had a couple of big sharks on yesterday and a couple of good runs from fish that we never got the hook in, so I feel like there are some quality sharks there,” Johnson said “We’ll just play it by ear, and see what the action is like. If it’s slow, we’ll move and try another spot.”
How the day plays out is anyone’s guess, but all four teams have solid plans based on two days of fishing. Now, it’s just a matter of getting some cooperation from the sharks and making every bite count.