JACKSONVILLE - With nearly perfect fishing weather conditions, the dynamic duo of fishing; Clay Today Sports Editor Randy Lefko and Major League Fish pro Cole Hewett of Orange Park had all the …
JACKSONVILLE - With nearly perfect fishing weather conditions, the dynamic duo of fishing; Clay Today Sports Editor Randy Lefko and Major League Fish pro Cole Hewett of Orange Park had all the intentions of showing off their rod and reel prowess at Wednesday’s Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament Media Day tournament.
“It’s a great honor to be able to bring my bass fishing skills to the ocean,” said Hewett, who was recently featured by Lefko in a Clay Today sports page piece depicting his seventh place finish in a Virginia Pro Tour event. “I’ve never went after Kingfish, so we shall see.”
We shall see, said Hewett, who brought his immense water “read” skills on to the boat captained by Ronald Hilliard and his boat mate Ryan Kanabroskie; both very familiar with the endurance tactics of Lefko after his stunning two hour mano-a-mano battle with a 52 pound Jack Cravelle that stirred some dockside reaction two years ago.
“I think Lefko has proven that he can walk the walk while talking the talk when it comes to landing a big fish,” said Kanabroskie. “He was masterful two years ago, then nabbed two Kingfish last year to prove his mettle.”
As the quartet ventured on to the Atlantic Ocean after departing the Jim King Docks in Sister’s Creek, it became apparent quickly that the sea was not going to be friendly to the gladiators.
Hillard, in his captain wizardry, commanded the boat to nearly Mickler’s Landing to snag a net full of bait fish before heading back north to find the “Honey Spot.”
“Honey Spot” yielded zilch except that Hewett caught a pole with “something big” on it and started his frenzied reel in while Kanabroskie, like a ballot dancer, unwound the rod that Hewett got tangled with in his excitement to strike first.
“I didn’t realize I had crossed the other pole’s line and Ryan had to do some quick thinking with his cat-like reflexes to preserve the hooked fish,” said Hewett. “When we finally danced the dance and I was free of the entanglement, the fish we had which was a biggie had snapped the line. We had a big one though.”
As the morning trudged on with nary a nibble, Hilliard moved the crew to just outside the inlet off the Neptune Beach area to try and strike again.
Unfortunately, as Kanabroskie skillfully noted, there was a school of dolphins frolicking off the bow.
“Never a good sign when the dolphins are laughing at you,” said Kanabroskie. “They are the expert fishermen and they were not going to let many get away for us to snag. We just had a dismal day, but any day fishing with buddies and sunshine and plenty of Kool-Aid is a good day.”
Disclaimer: Portions of this Fish Story can be disputed, but who cares.