Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'LITTLE MAN' KING; Underdog Wins Kingfish Tournament with 48.95-Pounder

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'LITTLE MAN' KING; Underdog Wins Kingfish Tournament with 48.95-Pounder

Article excerpt

Byline: JOE JULAVITS

Bill Rew came through Friday for all the weekend anglers who dream of glory in the world's largest kingfish tournament.

Fishing out of a flat-bottomed Carolina Skiff with his wife and grandchildren, Rew caught a 48.95-pound king mackerel to capture heaviest-fish honors in the 25th annual BellSouth Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament.

"I've been the little man for years and years and years," said the 58-year-old Rew, who lives in Ponte Vedra Beach. "I'm speechless."

Rew and his family crew -- wife Bobbi and twin 8-year-old grandsons Chase and Bryant Carter-- won the overall top prize of a 25-foot Contender boat with twin Yamaha 200 outboards and Loadmaster trailer, a package valued at $115,224.

First-day leader Bear Croft, a Fernandina Beach resident whose 46.10-pound king was bumped, said if he couldn't win, he was glad Rew did.

"I started this kingfishing stuff in a small boat, so I feel good for them," Croft said. "I have to tip my hat to the guys in the little boat."

Croft caught a 32.45-pound king Friday. Coupled with the 46.10-pounder he snared Thursday, his two-day aggregate would have been a tournament-record 78.55 pounds for two fish. But because the prize for second-heaviest fish is greater than the first-place aggregate prize, Croft automatically was sorted by computer into the big-fish category.

Croft won a CSEA chaser bay boat valued at $37,795. Charles Shiroky of Brunswick, Ga., on the Lucky 7, took third place with a 44.40-pounder caught Thursday. His prize was an 18-foot Sea Fox.

Winning the aggregate title-- and a 20-foot Key West boat-- was Richard Geiger on the Wave Buster, with a two-day total of 69.85 pounds, including a 39.8-pounder caught Thursday.

Michael Crosby, on the No Excuse, took second in the aggregate division with 68. …

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