First tie ever in Size Does Matter fishing tourney

Special to the Sun Times

Anglers from California to Boston arrived on Marco Island to participate in the seventh annual Size Does Matter fishing tournament held each year during the first week in March on Collier Creek.

The Boathouse Motel and the Pavilion Condominiums sponsor the quirky tournament.

Good fishing and friendships bring fishermen back and attract new contestants each year. Taunts and laughter fill the air as anglers line the docks and compete to catch the three biggest fish in nine categories: snook, sheepshead, snapper, whiting, ladyfish, jack, catfish, porgy and trout.

This year's participants included Bob Brown of California; Ron Krisak, Burt Roth, and Ken Crosley of Michigan; John Gerdes of Colorado; Ed Yablonski of Virginia; Bill Henderson of Ohio; Ken Houcek and John Sulik of Illinois; Jim Campbell of Massachusetts, and Jerry and Jill Stanwitt of Florida.

Despite the anglers' enthusiasm and perfect conditions, two categories were left empty this year – trout and ladyfish.

Several participants caught ineligible fish such as stingray, mackerel, pinfish, and even a stone crab. They good-naturedly begged, cajoled, and attempted to bribe the tournament coordinator to include their fish – all to no avail.

The one-and-a-half-day tournament ended in a tie.

In the spirit of cooperation, Krisak and Brown agreed to call it a tie instead of competing in a sudden-death fish off.

The fun-filled competition was topped off with an awards ceremony at the gazebo, where good food and exaggerated fish stories were shared by all.