Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Crawford Catches a Winner; Angler's 41.55-Pound Fish Wins It at King Buster 400

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Crawford Catches a Winner; Angler's 41.55-Pound Fish Wins It at King Buster 400

Article excerpt

Byline: Jim Sutton

The only thing tougher than the fishing Saturday was the fishing Friday.

Just three fish broke the 30-pound mark in the King Buster 400 in two days of fishing. Thirty-six fish were weighed. A couple of big fish made the difference.

Captain Kenny Crawford and crew on the Crawfish put one kingfish in the boat to win the King Buster with a 41.55-pound fish. Seventy-seven boats fished the kingfish competition Saturday. Twenty-eight weighed a fish.

On Friday, 71 junior anglers took to the waters off St. Augustine on about 40 boats. Eight fish made it to the scales in the Brian Dingman Memorial Tournament.

But a couple of those made it count.

The big fish of the tournament, a 42.8-pounder was put on ice by 10-year-old Alan Damon on Friday.

Neither the adult nor the junior angler winners were strangers to that spot.

In 2008, captain Rembrandt Gray on the R-Rated put Alan's big sister, Hannah, into the winner's circle for junior angler.

And Crawford won the King Buster in 2009 with his penchant for catching big fish when few other boats were finding them.

For his fish, Damon took home a 15-foot JV15CC Carolina Skiff with a 25-horsepower Mercury outboard and a Float On Trailer. In addition to his sister's earlier win, his cousin, Alexia Ciroba, took second place for juniors in the 2010 Ancient City Game Fish Association's Kingfish Challenge. His little sister, 9-year-old Valerie, won the peewee division that same year. "The only one who hasn't won something is the baby," Alan's grandmother, Kathy Gray, said from their home in Tavares.

James "Kingfish" Jacunski is 2 years old ... and waiting.

"We'll try to stick it out until then," tournament director Don Dingman said with a grin.

Crawford won a 2011 Carolina Skiff 21-foot SS Elite with a 150-horsepower Mercury Outboard and Float On Trailer.

Wife Cindy brought the fish to the scales Saturday. She's well-schooled in tournament ways. Crawford's GPS numbers are more secret than codes for nuclear missile silos. Folks follow them. Was the big fish caught shallow or deep? Beach or wrecks? Early or late? "North," she said. And that was that.

This year's tournament included, for the first time, an inshore redfish competition. …

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