Byline: terry brown
A little cash and a whole lot of braggin' rights will be on the line Saturday, but more than 30 boats and their anglers are expecting to hook into something else in waters around Trout Creek -- speckled perch.
The Speckled Perch Fishing Tournament at Pacetti's Fish Camp will get under way at 7 a.m. at the Trout Creek marina. There is a maximum limit of three people per boat and up to eight fishing poles allowed on board. Angler check-in begins at 5:30 a.m. There is an entry fee of $50 per boat.
"This will be our sixth year of the tournament," said Joe Pacetti from his office overlooking Trout Creek. "It was started in 2000 in commemoration of my grandfather, William Joseph, who had recently passed away. The tournament was a way to celebrate the traditions he began here at the fish camp."
Speckled perch, or black crappie as they are also known, are plentiful in the waterways around Trout Creek and neighboring Six-Mile Creek, which both feed into the St. Johns River. The freshwater fish is part of the Sunfish family.
According to tournament organizer Vickie Thomas, the fish have been biting very well this year, with many coming in over two pounds. She said speckled perch are an excellent eating fish, especially when fried.
The first place finisher in the tournament will win 50 percent of the pot made up of entrance fees, with a five fish aggregate. Thomas said one of the most exciting aspects of the tournament is an optional big fish Calcutta for $10 per boat. The angler catching the biggest Calcutta fish of the tournament gets 100 percent of the money.
Local knowledge of good fishing spots, a hope for good weather and a bucket of live minnows is all that may be needed to draw a good crowd of anglers and their families to the creek, Pacetti said. …