Weather shortens Poco Bueno

Rey Castillo By Rey Castillo

July 15, 2017 at 9:42 p.m.

Spectators look at the first blue marlin on the second day, caught by Team Rebecca, as it gets weighed. Team Rebecca's blue marlin came in half an inch short and resulted in their disqualification.

Spectators look at the first blue marlin on the second day, caught by Team Rebecca, as it gets weighed. Team Rebecca's blue marlin came in half an inch short and resulted in their disqualification.   Olivia Vanni for The Victoria Advocate

PORT O'CONNOR - Team Draggin Up made landfall with a 447-pound blue marlin just before heavy rain and thunderstorms reached Port O' Connor with more than 200 people in attendance on the final day of the Poco Bueno Tournament on Saturday.

The tournament was called off at approximately 6:49 p.m. with Team Chum On being declared the winner after hauling in a 551-pound, 109.5-inch blue marlin Friday.

Even after placing fourth, Draggin Up captain Kevin Deerman, 53, of Galveston, was pleased with his team's effort.

"They're great and everybody worked together," said Deerman, who has fished in Poco Bueno since 1985. "Everyone did a great job together, and fourth place is good for me and for some of the people who are participating in their first tournament."

The team didn't have a lot of action early but their patience paid off when the crew felt a bite at 5:30 p.m.

"We spent the whole first day live baiting and didn't have a lot of action," Deerman said. "It was pretty boring for the most part, but we stuck with it and ended up getting a bite."

In the offshore standings, Notorious finished second with a 519.5-pound blue marlin, followed by team Dorado (448), Draggin Up (447.5) and Doc Holiday (366) who all captured blue marlins.

Team Doulas caught the largest tuna at 130.5 pounds, team Maverick hauled in the largest dolphin (dorado) at 40.5 pounds, while Whiskey Business caught the largest wahoo at 33 pounds.

"It's been really exciting," said Randy Bright, whose father is one of the tournament founders. "It's all been very impressive, and some years we get one or two fish but this year there's been more."

In the inshore portion, Team Shoalwater's Gene Boerm and Chris Taylor held on to win the Master Angler event with a total of 31.35 pounds in redfish and 24.45 pounds in trout.

High Sticking's Chris Hutcheson and Matt Kafka won the Fly Fish Division with 33.35 points in master angler and 7.30 points in redfish.

"Poco has been a great event, and it's important to my dad," Bright said. "There were only 13 boats in the early days and since then, it's been about bringing people to Port O' Connor and I'm proud of that."

Walter Fondren took over the tournament in 2009. His father started it in 1969.

"We've grown since my dad and Walter Fondren's dad started in 1969," Bright said. "We've grown into our 40th year, and I'm proud that I've never missed a year."


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