Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Blacks Capture Wolfson Tourney Father-Son Team Picks Up $15,000

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Blacks Capture Wolfson Tourney Father-Son Team Picks Up $15,000

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Julavits, Times-Union outdoors editor

PALATKA -- In more than 30 years of fishing for bass on the St. Johns River, Wayne Black had at one time or another won just about every tournament there was to win. With one major exception.

Yesterday, Black corrected that oversight, teaming with his son, Derek, to capture the 12th annual Wolfson Children's Hospital Bass Tournament, the largest such competition in the state. The Blacks, from San Mateo just across the St. Johns River from the Wolfson weigh-in site at Palatka City Docks, topped the 522-boat field and won $10,000 with a seven-fish stringer that totaled 25.97 pounds.

And to punctuate their victory, father and son also caught the tournament's heaviest single fish, a 9.77-pounder worth another $5,000.

"I fished my first tournament in 1969, and, as far as competition, it's tough to beat this [Wolfson] bunch," Wayne Black said.

"Fishing with him is like fishing with a legend," Derek Black said. "He's been doing it a long time."

But even legends need a little luck. Yesterday morning about 8:30, Wayne Black was retrieving his spinnerbait in Crescent Lake when 9.77 pounds of good fortune struck.

"I was about to pull the spinnerbait out of the water when I saw a swirl behind it," Wayne Black said. "I stuck the pole right back in the water and she liked to pull it out of my hands.

"I only had about 3 feet of line out."

Finishing second overall yesterday were John Bitter of Maitland and Eddie Bussard of Deltona, who ran 80 miles south of Palatka to collect a stringer of bass that weighed 23.30 pounds. Tony Davis of Williston and Bob Eagleston of Newberry, who also fished south of Palatka, were third with 21.41 pounds.

In all, there were 18 seven-fish limits brought to the scales, an indication of how tough fishing was for most of the field. Last year's winners, Lee Stalvey and Donnie Smith, weighed in only one fish.

The tournament's second largest bass, worth $1,000, was an 8. …

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