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Just a portion of the overall teams before the morning start. Photo by Frank & Nate Price
Team Stonefish saying hello  :) ----------------- photo by Frank & Nate Price
Ok, here we go, yet another year of the ATIHC in the books, and number 16 to be exact..... man that's just insane to me...... where does the time go!??

So, myself, my two girls Chelsea & Miley, as well as Chelsea's friend Summer all shot down to the Dana Landing launch ramp at 3:30am to get set up and ready to do check-in for those who wish to show up extra early and get well situated before the on the water group shot and start takes place. Others show up much later, and anywhere from about 5 to 5:40AM at the latest, as that's when I need to head out among the group for the photo, quick briefing and start....... but we are always there for those who wish to check in extra early.

This years event had a little special meaning for me for a few reasons, with one being that this was the first time, both my girls had ever joined me in the boat to see what it is like during the morning gathering and start of this tournament....... and honestly, they really enjoyed it alot, except that Miley had a bad case of very cold hands despite all of us trying our best to warm them up...... but through it all, she still totally dug on the start, and even steered the boat out for a brief bit.

Heading out. ------------------------------------------- photo by Frank & Nate Price
Team Valerie Jean, on their way out.----------photo by Frank & Nate Price
The other reason was that me and the girls had one last important thing to take care of as a group and on the water together in regards to the passing of my parents and their grandparents, and on this day we got that done with a bunch of what I like to think of as friends joining in as we did our thing........... thanks all of you, for letting us include you in with that........ not that you had much choice though I guess  J

Ok, so here is how all went down for the 16th Annual After Thanksgiving Halibut Classic.

It was an awesome morning, with an incredible sunrise which just reminded me what is so awesome and special about getting out on the water early at times...... and what made it all the better for me, was finally being with the kids on the water during this event......... that just made it priceless for me!!

Chelsea & her friend Summer

Team Sheri Moon, bumping ahead of the lead escort boat I might add  :)
Teams Honey Bucket (left) & Sheri Moon (right). Team in the far background unknown?

So things started off slow this year, and I think part of that might have been due to the challenging bait situation we had for the first time ever this year, as the majority of the bait purchased was small Chovy with very few Sardines, so lots of guys worked hard in the morning trying to load up on mini macs.

Team El Guapo making bait
Team Tail Chasers making bait
John Pye on Team The Menu looking for that early morning bait as well.

First fish honors for the morning went to Team "Albienut", as they called in their boated fish at 8:52am, with the angler being Hank Liddic.

Nearly 3 hours would pass before the second boated fish was called in, and that went to Team "Googan", as they radioed in their fish at 11:50am with Carl Stewart being the angler.

Team Googan, with their 2nd place check as well as winning the drawing prizes of a gaff & a Spot locator --------photo by Frank & Nate Price
Carl weighing in---------------------photo by Frank & Nate Price

A little over an hour and a half would pass before the next boated fish was radioed in, and this one went to Team "Mad Lamb", with angler Bradley Messmer, as his fish was reported at 12:35pm.

By 12:35pm, and with less than two and a half hours left, this is how we were looking. It was one of those years, where it was going to be some tough scratch fishing, and just hoping your number comes up!

Not long after, Team "Fire Escape" decided they would make their presence known, and called in their boated fish at 12:55pm, with angling honors going to Kiel Berg.

Next one up to get in the mix was Team "The Menu", with the angler being John Pye, as he radioed in their fish at 1:53pm, and on a side note here, I actually saw John sometime in the afternoon at the fuel dock, as he had to pick up his second teammate and wife Deborah along with their 10 week old baby boy (baby John) to jump aboard and head back out fishing......and whataya know not to long after, they connect with a keeper halibut.

So at this point we are at 5 fish for the tournament, when out from nowhere one last team calls in a fish with little time to make it back to weigh-ins. That team would be "El Dorado", who called in to inform tournament control that angler Kyle Martin boated a fish at 2:40pm and they were on their way in.

So that's pretty much it, another Halibut Classic tournament has come and gone, it's an event that gives us a time with friends & family to reflect on the highs and lows of life, and a little reminder to remember and be thankful for what we do have, which are friends, family, an incredibly great place to live & fish and do what we love doing, and to always find time to keep making and creating some kickass lifetime memories! That's pretty much what this whole tournament has always been about....... reflecting back on the past year, telling stories, spending some good time on the water with friends, taking it all in, and for an added bonus, just hoping to be lucky enough to possibly come home with a little extra Xmas money :)
Alright, so here is the quick lowdown.....

*1st place went to Team "Albienut", as angler Hank Liddic connected with a nice 28.5 lb flattie to secure 1st and also claim all side Jackpots since they were entered in all. 1st place was $1300 this year (due to the smaller group of teams), and the total for all side jackpots was $2787, which put their winnings at $4087.

Team Albienut with their win.--------------
Photo by Frank & Nate Price

 *2nd place went to Team "Googan", with angler and head BD googan Carl Stewart landing a nice 24.7 lb butt. So close Carl!! Team Googan took home $500 for their effort.

*3rd Place went to Team "The Menu", with angler John Pye pulling in a nice 17.2 lb flattie that earned them $300 plus a $100 gift cert from Dana landing.

*4th Place honors went to Team "El Dorado", with angler Kyle Martin pulling a rabbit out of the hat at the last minute, and the team making it back to the weigh-in dock in time to secure their spot at 4th and take home $200 plus a $100 gift cert from Dana Landing.


1. 8:52 am, Team - Albienut - Angler, Hank Liddic - 28.5lbs/42" 1st
11:50 am, Team - Googan - Angler, Carl Stewart - 24.7lbs/ 42 1/4" 2nd
12:35 pm, Team - Mad Lamb - Angler, Bradley Messmer - 5.3lbs/ 24.5"
12:55 pm, Team - Fire Escape - Angler, Kiel Berg - 10.5lbs/ 29.5"
1:53 pm, Team - The Menu - Angler, John Pye - 17.2lbs/ 35.5" 3rd
2:40 pm, Team - El Dorado - Angler, Kyle Martin - 12.1lbs/ 31 3/4" 4th

Pictures of the days event.

A HUGE thank you to all the teams who supported this tournament this year, and from years past. Happy holidays from me and my small but precious crew! :)

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