O-Sea-D Wins Fishing Tournament To Close Out Fins Weekend

Posted May 19, 2012

Poor James McKnight just can’t catch a break on Fins Weekend – even though he did catch his share of big fish today.

For the second straight day, McKnight found himself on the second-place team in one of the key events, this time falling just short of winning the 16th Miami Dolphins Foundation Fishing Tournament. McKnight was one of the anglers onboard Bouncers Dusky 33, which lost out to O-Sea-D in the final weigh-in as a record-setting 90 boats with more than 400 anglers took part.

The crew of O-Sea-D turned in 195.4 pounds of fish to take home the trophy, with Bouncers Dusky 33 coming in with 147.6 pounds. Billin Office finished third with an even 100 pounds. Captain Michael Vera, Jorge Villar, Eduardo Gonzalez and Jose Lopez made up the crew of the winning boat.

McKnight did catch the biggest Wahoo at 12.7 pounds, which probably did not make him feel any better. McKnight lost the golf tournament on Friday in a playoff to former tight end Jed Weaver.

“No doubt I was out there to win and we had a good crew and a good captain,” McKnight said. “They were biting all day and we had a lot that didn’t count that we threw back in there, caught a couple of sailfish that were jumping out of the water so we had an awesome day. We moved around and we were just lucky everywhere we went. Everywhere we put a line in the water we pulled something out.”

The same couldn’t be said for punter Brandon Fields, whose total haul on the day consisted of one 5-pound dolphin and a baseball cap in the middle of the ocean. There was no surprise when he and his crew onboard Four Seas Sun II pulled into the Miami Beach Marina first.

“Let’s just say it’s a good thing I don’t get paid to go fish because today was not a good day fishing wise,” Fields said. “Usually when I go out there we catch a few dolphin but today we almost got skunked. We had a few that got away from us and only got one onboard, but we all had a good time and of course it’s for a good cause so that’s what counts.”

In addition to McKnight, the other individual winners were Craig Keneipp of Merlin Car with the biggest dolphin at 40.6 points, Michael Vera of O-Sea-D with the biggest tuna at 70.4 pounds and Eddie Gonzalez of O-Sea-D with the biggest kingfish at 40 pounds.

Jennifer Reeves, who was onboard Weez in the Keys, caught a tuna that weighed in at 32.5 pounds and earned the honor of the top fish caught by a woman. Finally, in the junior category, MacKully Flanigan caught the biggest fish overall onboard Double D with a 70.4-pound tuna. Riley Ireland, son of General Manager Jeff Ireland, caught a six-pound dolphin onboard Just Do It and Ridge Murphy caught a 28.4-pound kingfish onboard Contender I.

New Head Coach Joe Philbin had a memorable time out on the open seas on Ross Fisher’s boat and caught his first sailfish. He was given a special towel as a memento keepsake to commemorate the occasion.

“We had a fast start with a couple of mahi mahi real early in the process and I’m a veteran sailfish catcher now,” said Philbin, who had his wife and some of his children with him. “We’re true sportsman so we put the sailfish back in, but it was a good group of guys. You can see the amount of people that care about the Dolphins, the community and want to make a contribution to make South Florida better place to live. It’s been amazing to watch the people and how many are involved and support this foundation.”

The one man with the biggest smile today was Jeff Peck, chairman of the fishing tournament, as he saw his decision to move the date up three weeks pay off.

“The fishing was obviously much better and this was our biggest tournament ever so hopefully we’ll raise a lot of money for the foundation,” Peck said. “It’s great to see all the smiles up and down the dock and everyone having a great time and at the end of the day knowing they’re having a great time while raising money to help out the community.”
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