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Ludington Offshore Classic Pro Division Unofficially 2nd Place


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I had the pleasure of fishing aboard the boat 'Z-1', a 28ft Albemarle for 4 days this past weekend. I told Paul and Marty yes before they even finished asking me. We kept the boat at Harbor View on D Dock and I met the boys their Wednesday night to discuss what we were going to do tomorrow for the Ruoby Thursday. getting down to the boat at 5am to a steady rain with lightning, we waited for the tournament comittiee to say yay or nay. A couple of good storm cells were moving across the lake from Wisconsin and after they delayed it a second time we went and had breakfast up the street. We finally got underway at 0915 and fished until 1600. We ran to the Little Point and stated to dial in our program. Fast forward to 1500 and we hit number 12 fish on a 300 copper while i was starting to pull lines. It then became a rush because we put the boat in neutral. We netted our largest king of the day, our 12th to be exact at 17.8lbs and felt good about our top 5 kings that we would weigh in at great lakes ford. Living the Dream's cooler was in front of us and they put up a big number of 81.6lbs and knew we didnt have that much, but we had a respectable score of 76.55 and took 5th our of 62 boats. Friday was a was wash, event though we sceduled to be in the ladies Pro. We had Paul's wife and 4 year old daughter and Marty's wife and 2 boys 7 and 11. A couple kids got sick and the wives didnt want any part of the 4 footers, so we took one kid out and got him a 7lb king to reel in and he was rewarded with $50 dollar savings bond. Saturday began the tourney for all the marbles and we knew we needed to get back where we were Thursday. So when 6am hit the clock we launching a 15000lb boat out of the water in some 3-4 foot waves. more boats seemed to head north but all the big boys were going south. At the end of out 20 mile run we started setting lines and it didnt take long. Our first 1.5 mile pass took 11 kings. we could only take one more and we needed to be a jim dandy and thank god it was, came on green splatter j off the 300 copper. Time to go trout fishing now and as soon as we switches over we got one, half hour later in the same spot we pulled a little bit nicer one, and then the dreaded last trout took 90 minutes but at 11am we pulled an almost 11lber off the boat and high fives and yelling and beer cracking was going around. We hit the pier heads at 12 and got our fished weighed right away at 133.10lbs. Cleaned fish and boat and then waited to see where we would stand after day 1 and it happened to be 1st place. 7 points ahead of Best Chance Too. Living the Dream was in third with the heaviest catch of the day at 136lbs but they only weighed in 11 fish. Now with the targets on our back and everyone wondering whose Z-1, where they from? we knew we had to perform on day 2 just as we did on saturday. We knew if we took care of buisness we would could win this. Conditions were nicer than saturday and it made it a tighter boat race since everyone could open up the jets. We put our first fish in the box at 0637, remember we ran 20 miles and the tourney started at 0600. We actually took our kings quicker today, but noticed they were smaller than day one. we even caught 4 kings later in the day that we threw back that could have helped us. We struggled getting our trout and only got 2. Had a sick feeling that one trout, all beat it 20 inches, was going to cost us. Top 5 coolers from day one would weigh them in on stage. Best Chance Too weighed in their 12 fish around 118lbs. Having 7 point lead from day one we need to have 3-4 lbs more weight since we were one fish short and I thought we had it but we actually weighed in with 118lbs as well. Quick math knew we came in second. We gave it our best shot and tried like hell, but a couple boys from Port Huron and Harbor Beach coming over and playing in the Big Dogs backyard and doing as well as we did was satisfying. We were told that no money would be handed out. Their was a protest from two other boats on Best Chance Too. Speculation was they were busting off small fish in the downrigger cable so they could catch bigger kings. Once a fish is boated its yours to weigh. It sucks it had to come down to this. I don't think anyone has the balls to dq the best cheaters too. If they did do this, you wonder how many times they did it before. So as of Tuesday everything is still unofficial or at least we havent heard anything. But we sure had a blast and will remember this experience for a lifetime.

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Great job! The rumor going around is that BC2 withdrew to avoid the stink. Hope you guys get what you earned. Sounds like you worked hard and had a lot of fun, and that's what's important.

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Congrats on the win!

http://www.ludingtondailynews.com/news/50874-offshore-classic-preliminary-winner-withdraws-after-protest

The unofficial champion of the Ludington Offshore Classic’s pro division has withdrawn from the event in the face of an official protest.

Best Chance Too Captain Dave Engel said he felt like his team did everything within the sprit of the rules during the event, but after a meeting with three people representing the tournament Monday, he and co-captain Bill Bale believed withdrawing from the event was the best thing to do for all involved.

“There was some guys on another boat who thought we were being over-aggressive landing fish,†Engel said. “They questioned our observer and he said we probably were on a few, they questioned that we didn’t get the net fast enough on some little fish. It was a ‘he said, she said, they said’ kind of thing and it kind of seemed to us like it was a done deal. We said ‘if you guys don’t think we did it right, we’ll just withdraw from the tournament.’â€

Tournament rules state “Any intentional act, such as, but not limited to, shaking off, breaking off, burning off, etc. fish will subject team to disqualification.â€

The Ludington Offshore Classic tournament committee and Ludington and Scottville Chamber of Commerce issued the following statement on the matter:

“Out of respect for all those who participated in the Ludington Offshore Classic as well as for the tournament committee and the fishing community, the Pro Division boat Best Chance Too, has withdrawn from the 2010 tournament. Official protests had been filed against this boat, however due to their withdrawal no investigation was completed. As a result the new winner of the 2010 Pro Division is Z-1 and all other winners in the Pro Division moved up one place in the ranking and payouts.â€

Z-1 of Lakeport, Michigan was the day one leader with a 12-fish catch of 133.10 pounds and followed with a day two catch of 11 fish and 118 pounds.

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Great job and good luck. Reminscent of the Manistee tourney a few years where some catches were weighed on a calibrated scales and some were weighed on a scale that was off by a couple pounds. It impacted first and second places in the Pro division.

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thanks for the congrats guys, its official now and yesterday was my birthday and it was a quiet one, tonight we celebrating lake huron style! Shimano has broke off from BCT and now we have to go through switching the trophies. If BCT did nothing wrong then they would have gone through the investigation. You really need to start questioning observers supplied by boats. Also they stack observers with teams, BCT and Blue Fairways, give me a break, put all the names in a glass bowl and pull 2 out, all this matching with boat size is crap. If your fishing the pro division you got the boat you know what I mean. Anyways what a relief and just wish we could have recieved all the stage time sunday that BCT did.

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thanks for the congrats guys, its official now and yesterday was my birthday and it was a quiet one, tonight we celebrating lake huron style! Shimano has broke off from BCT and now we have to go through switching the trophies. If BCT did nothing wrong then they would have gone through the investigation. You really need to start questioning observers supplied by boats. Also they stack observers with teams, BCT and Blue Fairways, give me a break, put all the names in a glass bowl and pull 2 out, all this matching with boat size is crap. If your fishing the pro division you got the boat you know what I mean. Anyways what a relief and just wish we could have recieved all the stage time sunday that BCT did.

We also fished the Offshore Classic, I have every year

since the tournament started.

I met Paul from Z-1 at the weigh in for the first time,

to say I was very impressed would be a understatement.

I've fished Ludington for 25+ yrs and know quite a few

of the charter captains, and come around time for the

Classic it gets very quiet on patterns and location.

This is what I was so impressed by with Paul from the

Z-1 team, we compared notes, patterns, locations. He was

completely upfront and honest. I found this amazing.

He also told me that you guys lost 2 Lakers at the end

of day 2, that would have completed the 12 fish limit.

And that would have won the Classic, and he laughed

about it. That speaks volumes about a class act.

I prefished with BCT last year on Wednesday before the

Classic, very interesting experience, I walked away shaking

my head. Will never do that again.

Congratulations to the Z-1 team.:thumb:

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Well the truth is there are a lot of guys who lose fish on purpose during a tourney. When you put a bunch of money on the line someone is going to push the rules. In a no cull tourney bringing in consistant boxes of all big fish when most of the feild has several smaller fish is tuff to beleive observer or not. Sometimes I wonder if some of them have scales built into their reels so they know which ones to lose. But I guess after you catch a few thousand you pretty much know what is on the other end. It is sad to see but not a bit surprised by it the funny thing is I doubt Dave and Bill would do it for money however to maintain their place as top boat maybe.

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thats the word, shimano dropped BCT, one of the tournament commitee members is the head dog for shimano, will wait and see next year if Okuma or Penn buy a section of the BCT!

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I was not on the boat, and no one here that I know of here was on board either. All of the talk that is out there, is speculation. The only people that know what went on, are the people who was on the boat. All it takes is one story like this, and everyone jumps on board.

This reminds me of the Rompala buck. Because he did not go through with the testing and such, everyone said his buck was fake.

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