Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Boat's Leprechaun Is Lucky Charm Again; Crew Strikes It Rich after Performing Ritual for Kingfish at Fernandina Beach Tournament

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Boat's Leprechaun Is Lucky Charm Again; Crew Strikes It Rich after Performing Ritual for Kingfish at Fernandina Beach Tournament

Article excerpt

Byline: FRANCINE KING

Winning three tournaments in a month might give some anglers reason to brag about their fishing skills.

But Lon Bryan IV and the crew of the Southbound credit another source for their recent string of victories.

"There's not a secret," Bryan said. "It's all a lot of luck.

"There's a ton of great fishermen that fish all these tournaments, and the bottom line is you've got to have luck on your side," he added. "We've fortunately had it on our side the last four tournaments."

Bryan, Thomas Cowan, Andy Miska and Tyler Eichholz won two tournaments and finished fourth in another before adding to their magical run with a victory Saturday in the NSFA Tournament of Champions in Fernandina Beach. The four Jacksonville Beach residents reeled in the big fish of the two-day tournament - a 53.20-pound kingfish - on Friday to earn about $20,000.

That swells their recent winnings to nearly $130,000. Bryan, 29, said after any boat repairs, the foursome splits its earnings evenly, and he plans to put his share toward purchasing a larger boat.

But he said he won't be trading in his single engine, 23-foot Contender any time soon because of a recently discovered lucky charm.

"One day we were [messing] around and said there's a leprechaun that lives in the bilge - pour a Natural Light down there and he'll bring us luck," Bryan said. "Ever since then, we've started [winning]."

Added Miska, 27: "It gets one right before bedtime and one right when he wakes up in the morning. [We're] so lucky, it's unbelievable."

Capt. Noel Patrick Poteet and the crew of the Miss Jessie had their own lucky streak this weekend, minus any leprechauns. The five-person team brought in a pair of 30-pounders to take the second-place prize for the largest aggregate total at 65.14 pounds.

The Southbound brought in a two-day total of 83. …

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