Foust Wins Calusa Blueway Tournament

Calusa Blueway Tourament winners line up: Carns, Gibbs, Grafton, McCleaf, and Foust (from left). All photos courtesy 'Gator' Dave Harper.
Calusa Blueway Tourament winners line up: Carns, Gibbs, Grafton, McCleaf, and Foust (from left). All photos courtesy ‘Gator’ Dave Harper.

The Great Calusa Blueway winds its way through more than 190 miles of fish rich Lee County. The annual Calusa Blueway Kayak Fishing Tournament celebrates this amazing fishery. Ken Taylor and Joy Hazell bring us this report on the blustery 2014 edition. -KF

The 2014 Calusa Blueway Kayak Fishing Tournament was held on Saturday, November 1st. The conditions on tournament day were extremely difficult with winds forecast out of the northwest up to 25 knots with gale force gusts.

In spite of the tough windy forecast, 5 of the 38 hardy, competitive anglers caught slams consisting in total length of the largest fish in each species for snook, redfish and spotted seatrout. The fish were photographed on an official tournament measuring board, then released. All anglers had to fish in Lee County waters only.

The winning angler was Mr. Chris Foust with a 22-inch snook, 24-inch redfish and a 23 1/2-inch spotted seatrout for a total length of 69 1/2 inches which earned him the $1,000 first prize. David McCleaf was second with 69.5 inches but the tie breaker was first angler to check-in first. Steve Grafton was third with 68 inches, Michael Gibbs fourth at 64 inches, and Daniel Carns fifth with 64 inches as he checked in after Michael Gibbs.

There were raffle prizes as well and every angler took home a prize. Lunch was catered by Jason’s Deli and food and beverages are always appreciated by all competitors after a fishing tournament.

Calm before the winds: Native pro Ken Taylor prefishes the day before the Calusa Blueway tournament.
Calm before the winds: Native pro Ken Taylor prefishes the day before the Calusa Blueway tournament.