Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

SAILFISH MAKES GRAND PARTY Traditional Fishing Contest Began as Lark 38 Years Ago

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

SAILFISH MAKES GRAND PARTY Traditional Fishing Contest Began as Lark 38 Years Ago

Article excerpt

It began as a lark, this strangely named "2738" Sailfish Pot

Party.

The Mayport salts, people like John "Carp" Carpenter and Joe

Campbell, were partying one night when someone threw out a

challenge: They'd all ante up into a chamber pot, and the first

one to catch a sailfish would win the cash.

Who would have guessed that, 38 years later, they'd still be

partying.

The faces are different now, of course, but the angling

tradition will be the same as always Saturday night at the 38th

annual "2738" Sailfish Pot Party at the Ramallah American Club.

The 2738, incidentally, represents the old AM radio marine band

that was in use before present-day VHF radio communication.

This year's bash will feature steaks and oysters, wings and

beer, but instead of the $7 that was in that first pot, the '97

version is expected to contain over $5,000.

The ticket holder who catches the first legal sailfish of the

season within the bounds of the Jacksonville Offshore Sports

Fishing Club's chart wins the cash, possession of the perpetual

trophy for a year and the distinction/chore of putting on next

year's party.

"The function is big-time now," said Charlie Hamaker, who

captured the pot in 1982. "The tradition is so well-founded it

will probably never go away."

That first pot, in 1960, was won by Marion Morris, and last

year George Levin took the honors. In between, there have been

two double winners -- Jimmy Gavin in 1978 and '80, and Tim

Carney in '91 and '93 -- and one year, 1985, when no one entered

in the pot caught a sail.

Eventually, there was no more room on the original chamber pot

to add the engraved names of winners, so the pot was mounted

atop a trophy.

Today, a separate women's Sailfish Pot Party is also held,

making it possible for a malefemale crew to capture both pots --

as Scott and Angel Christopher did in 1995. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.