Tourney ends in sudden death due to 3-way tie

Jill Stanwitt
Special to the Sun Times

Each year during the first week of March shouts of “Fish on,” “Grab the net” and “A little help here” ring out on the docks of Boathouse Motel & Pavilion Condominiums on Marco Island.

Biggest tourney snook: 29.5-incher caught and released by Dave Naidenovich.

This was the 8th annual “Size DOES Matter” fishing tournament.

Anglers come from California to Massachusetts to compete for fish in nine categories: snook, sheepshead, snapper, trout, whiting, ladyfish, jack, porgy and catfish.

Anglers gather before the start of tournament: back row, from left, Dave Naidenovich, Bob Brown, Ken Crossley, Ken Houcek, Jerry Stanwitt, Jim Campbell, Burt Roth; front row, Jill Stanwitt, Ron Krisak, John Gerdes.

Along with the good fishing, good friendships have developed over the years. Thus, laughter, joking, teasing and tales of “the one that got away” abound.

During a lull in the action on the second day, a shout rang out: “Grab that pole.” Wisconsin Jerry yelled “tarpon!” and tried to reel in the line. By then, the tarpon had reached the adjacent dock, surfaced briefly and spit out the hook. One of the more exciting moments of the tourney!

This year brought a surprising end of the tournament. For the first time, three anglers tied for first place. And, in the end, size did not matter. The finalists competed in a fish-off: First fish caught and on the dock, regardless of size, wins the trophy. Ron Krisak will take the traveling trophy home to Michigan.

Each year, the tournament concludes the competition with a party at sunset. Anglers and their spouses gather with food and drink to relive some of the moments of the last 1.5 days. Winners are announced and plans are made for the next year — a return to Marco and another great “Size DOES Matter” tournament.