Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NOTEBOOK; Jacksonville Boat and Crew Land Big Blue

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NOTEBOOK; Jacksonville Boat and Crew Land Big Blue

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Julavits, The Times-Union

Fishing in its first tournament, a new Jacksonville boat and its crew boated a 568-pound blue marlin to finish second in the prestigious Bertram-Hatteras Shootout in the Bahamas.

Mike Sandifer's Makin' Reel Memories, a 50-foot Hatteras, caught the big blue along with a white marlin in the 25th annual Shootout on May 17-23 out of Boat Harbor Marina in the Abacos. Sandifer's Jacksonville crew included Kathy Barco, Roger Hansen, Terry Schroeder and Tom Jones, who was the angler on the blue marlin.

"There's no finer thrill," said Jones of his largest marlin ever. "I'm really happy for Mike. It was a team effort all the way."

The weeklong event drew a field of 65 boats for the three designated fishing days. The Makin' Reel Memories tagged and released the white marlin on day 1, blanked on billfish the second day, then rallied with the blue marlin on the final day.

Jones was on the rod for four hours fighting the foul-hooked fish.

"We had her to the boat four times in the first two hours but couldn't touch the swivel," Jones said.

The marlin stayed deep for the final two hours, forcing Jones into a straight-up-and-down tug o' war.

The Ovation, a South Florida boat, captured first place with a 613-pound blue marlin. Hatteras won the manufacturers' crown.

HIKERS TO CELEBRATE TRAILS DAY

The Florida Trail Association will celebrate National Trails Day next Saturday with a special event at Etoniah Creek State Forest west of Palatka.

The FTA will recognize the volunteers who built a section of the Florida Trail through the forest, and the American Hiking Society will present its Volunteer of the Year Award.

Other National Trails Day activities are also planned around the state. For more information, visit www.floridatrail.org, or call 877-HIKE-FLA.

QUOTA HUNT PERMITS AVAILABLE

The quota hunt application process gets under way Tuesday for those wishing to hunt on Florida's wildlife management areas. …

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