By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
The Ladies Kingfish Tournament (LKT) Bay and Offshore grand champions had one thing in mind after they collected their trophies on Sunday afternoon: sleep.
Ericka Kinney, the Offshore Grand Champion, and Kelsey Garcia, the Bay Grand Champion were all smiles during the awards luncheon. When asked how they would celebrate their wins, both women laughed, saying they were looking forward to taking a nap.
LKT celebrated its 34th year, with a total of 303 anglers registered to compete — 55 more anglers than in 2014, according to a statement released by the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce. Of those anglers, 193 fished the bay and 110 competed in the Offshore division. The anglers fished from 102 boats.
Bay anglers competed to draw in the largest redfish, trout and flounder. The angler who brought in all three species with the highest combined weight was named Bay Grand Champion. Offshore anglers battled to bring in kingfish, bonita, blackfin tuna and dolphin, with the angler hauling in the highest weight of all four species combined being named the Offshore Grand Champion.
Garcia, who won the Bay division with a total weight of 12.5 pounds, also took home a second place trophy for redfish, with a catch that weighed 7.65 pounds and was 27 and 3/4 inches in length. Garcia fished aboard the boat, Tail Chasers, with Charlie Buchen.
Kinney, the Offshore division champ, also earned trophies for kingfish (4th place: 31.7 pounds, 48 and 1/8 inches), bonita (1st place: 23.65 pounds, 30 and 1/2 inches), and dolphin (2nd place: 5.1 pounds, 25 inches). Kinney fished aboard the Bamm Bamm with Chad Kinney.
Trophies were presented to the top four finishers in every species. Each winning angler was presented with a trophy painting containing original artwork specific to the species they won. The artwork was created by local artist, Dinah Bowman.
Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.