09/25/2006: "The REAL Pesky Awards ..."
I fished this weekend in the 17th Annual Los Pescadores Next To Avalon Invitational Not So Light Tackle Billfish tournament - better known as "the Pesky". Even for the experienced billfisherman, the Pesky is unlike anything else they've fished in. The fishing is great, but it's all the crazy stuff that goes on around it that makes it so special.
I've talked about the Pesky in my on the water reports in the War Room, and there'll be a full report tonight in the Fishing News. Of course, you can also check out the tourney website to get a taste of what it's all about. But like the man said, you really gotta be there.
One of the great things about the Pesky is that they give out more awards than most events. Yes, it's a club event, so the prizes are smaller than say, the Bisbee Black and Blue, but for most anglers they're big enough. There's always room for more, though and after fishing in all seventeen of the tourneys, I think I'm qualified to pick 'em. So here's our first edition of the LPAYWTHGOBDA (Los Pescadores "Awards You Wish They'd Have Given Out But Didn't" Awards:
- Best Looking Crew: It could have gone to the DONNA C ... er, the BLACK PEARL, and their crew of scantily clad pirate wenches, but they have an unfair advantage - more staterooms allows you to increase the number of women you can carry. That'd be an advantage in most cases. Besides, we see these girls all the time anyway, and familiarity breeds malaise - sorry, ladies!. So the Pesky goes to ... the crew of TYEE, who demonstrated they can be hot both on and off the water. Rumor has it Jenny Armstrong was swimming around Avalon Harbor in a little blue bikini on Saturday afternoon, and that's all it took to put them over the top. See you next Pesky, girls!
- Most Entertaining Crew: As usual, this one was a tightly contested race that wasn't decided until the wee hours of Sunday morning when one of the Blower boys decided to take a midnight swim. Best part is that he probably has no recollection whatsoever of the event. So the Pesky goes to ... the crew of PACIFIC PIONEER - thanks again for the Watermelon Bank, Mike!
- Making the Most of the Least: With nearly 50 boats in the field, you get a pretty wide range of sizes, from the mammoth to the miniscule. The big boys may have the cash and the crew, but the little guys have heart, and they demonstrated that this weekend. So the Pesky goes to ... the "crews" of AGITATOR and GERONIMO. Bill MacCorkell and Jerry Austin each caught a singlehanded marlin on their Skipjacks during the event, and the lack of a crew to handle some of the ancillary tourney duties (call-in, costume, etc) cost them in the standings. But this is one award they can proudly display for the world to see ... well, as soon as they figure out who gets what half of the trophy.
- Most Memorable Tourney Moment: It could easily have been the look on Jenny Armstrong's face while receiving a tummy tattoo from Matt Earl (imagine wide eyes and a silent "help me!"). But the Pesky goes to ... Kenny Knight and the BLACK PEARL for the split-S maneuver they made on REELY HOOKED during the water balloon war outside of Avalon at lines out Saturday. Even those of us engaged in our own spirited battles took pause when we saw the engine smoke rise - I had no idea 125-ft boats could jump out of the water like that. The boats were passing port-to-port, and the quick left-right turn by the BP put up a wave that damned near swamped RH. Props to Tim Lovoy and the crew of REELY HOOKED for taking on the BLACK PEARL in such a daring fasion in the first place!
- Least Memorable Moment: In an event that naturally generates a lot of candidates for this particular category, one stands high above the rest. And the Pesky goes to ... Bob Hoose for his attempt to tattoo his date for the hour at the Marlin Club. She was a willing participant, but after Bob's fourth attempt left her with more bad ink than Tommy Lee, the anonymous brunette took a tattoo with her to the Ladies Room and did the deed herself. It's worth noting that her display of a toned, tanned butt cheek with a perfectly placed Pesky Tat a few minutes later was a finalist for Most Memorable Moment ...
- Hard Luck Award: Both Marilyn Stephens of EXTA SEA and Jenny Armstrong of TYEE had shots at a second fish on Day 2, either of which would have won the event. But Marilyn won anyway for her one fish, and Jenny already has a Pesky (see "Best Looking Crew" above). So the Pesky goes to ... Rob Espinosa of PESCAHOLIC! Not only did he catch his tournament winner a day late on the ride home yesterday, he suffered the indignity of being relegated to the pit on his own boat in favor of a certain well known local captain (whose own spin we'll no doubt get in the Western Outdoor News on Thursday). Now to be fair, they did catch two fish and Rob gained a lot of valuable experience, both of which make his decision to let Mark run the boat a wise one. But it's probably a good thing he was in the cockpit where he couldn't hear the abuse we rained down on him ...
As I look back on this entry, I realize I've written the words "Jenny Armstrong" quite a few times. Now it could just be a coincidence that she was near the center of most of the memorable activity this weekend ... or maybe she's a catalyst? Hmmm ... guess we'll find out next year ... arrrr