Three Records Broken at Mike Schmidt's Winner's Circle Charities Fishing Tournament

Viking Mike Schmidt

Rough seas at Old Bahama Bay didn’t deter the Mike Schmidt Winner’s Circle Charities Fishing Tournament from pushing forward in full force this past weekend, as participants proceeded to break three tournament records. 17 Vikings and 23 total boats fished to raise donations for the RDK Melanoma Foundation, the Marine Industry Education Foundation, and the Waterfront Way Foundation.

 

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Pictured: 2018 Grand Champions 70' Viking Mr. LTD and Alicat Fishing Team

 

The Stars Aligned for 70' Viking Mr. LTD

Tom and Alison Beckmeyer bought 70’ Viking Mr. LTD through HMY Yacht Sales Professional Mark Mitchell this past September, and this was the first Bahamas trip and tournament for the boat. With Mitchell as their captain and Alicat Fishing Team aboard, they caught all three fish species on the first day. This relieved some pressure on the team, but they knew they needed to catch some bigger fish to gain a little weight on the leaderboard.

Mitchell recalls scoring the tournament record 99 lb wahoo on day one, “About ten minutes before I wanted to pull lines and start running back we had a big bite. We didn’t know how big the fish was until we got it close to the boat, but when it was about 50 feet off the transom, the fish went nuts. That’s when we knew we had a BIG wahoo! Tom Gresh played it perfect on the rod, and Nick Lansing got the gaff shot and pulled it in. Everyone went nuts when it hit the deck.”

Day two was just as exciting aboard Mr. LTD. After catching some early dolphin, they went after tuna, which was tough at first. Around 1 pm, Alicat Fishing Team found two birds and had two big bites, one pulling the hook. Owner of Mr. LTD, Tom Beckmeyer, fought the second one.

“We knew it was a big yellowfin after a few minutes,” Mitchell recollects reeling in the tournament record 115 lb tuna, “Tom was impressive on the rod and had the fish to the boat in 20 minutes. Tom Gresh and Van Mitchell gaffed the fish and another celebration ensued on the boat. We were in great shape for first but still had another day of fishing left. Luckily, the stars aligned for our team and we stayed in first place through day three to win the tournament.”

Mark Mitchell would like to thank Alicat Fishing Team and everyone who kept their cool and worked hard to land the win including Owner Tom Beckmeyer, mates Nick Lansing and Tom Gresh and anglers Van Mitchell and Dean Ganzhorn. 

 

 Image 2097: wahoo boat

 Pictured above: Tournament record 99 lb wahoo, caught aboard 70' Viking "Mr. LTD"

 

Image 2087: tuna

Pictured above: 115 lb yellowfin tuna, caught aboard 70' Viking "Mr. LTD"

 

Two Records Broken Day One

On day 1, 70’ Viking “Mr. LTD,” owned by Tom Beckmeyer and captained by HMY Yacht Sales Professional Mark Mitchell, cranked in a 99 lb wahoo, breaking the 19-year tournament record for largest wahoo. Team Hulett aboard the 80’ Viking demo scored a 52 lb dolphin, then “Plum Krazy” fishing team, owned by Gary Belcher, trumped Team Hulett by breaking the tournament record for largest dolphin with a 63-pounder.

 

 

Image 2080: Gary and Brad Belcher, Plum Krazy, 63 lb Dolphin

Pictured above: Tournament record 63 lb dolphin, caught by Gary Belcher aboard "Plum Krazy"

 

Image 2085: 52 dolphin

Pictured above: 52 lb dolphin caught aboard 80' Viking demo by Team Hulett


70’ Viking “Mr. LTD” seized the title of Grand Champion with two tournament record weigh-ins, a 99 lb wahoo and a 115 lb yellowfin tuna. A 23.6 lb dolphin rang them in for a total weight of 237.8 lbs with all three species. Second place was taken by 42’ Invincible “Honky Tonk” with a total of 117.2 lbs, and Gary Belcher's “Plum Krazy” fishing team slid into third place overall with a total of 94.1 lbs.

A few unexpected battlewagons came out of the woodwork, with John Krohn breaking in 55’ Viking “Perseverance” in his first tournament as her proud owner with the help of HMY Yacht Sales Professional Rob Spano. Dave Anderson’s 70’ Viking “Krazy Salts,” also made it out. The trip was well worth it; Anderson bagged top billfish release with two blues and two sails.

Team Schumacher on 52’ Viking “Miss Anni” was second on time for billfish release with a blue marlin and two sailfish. 64’ Viking “Stihl Leader” rounded out third place billfish release with a grand slam in the last hours of day three.

“This year’s [Mike Schmidt Winner’s Circle Charities] tournament had the roughest conditions in 19 years,” HMY Yacht Sales Professional and long-time Captain Brian Weaver remarks, “On the third day, we caught a sail, a blue marlin, and ended up scoring a hatchet marlin for a [billfish] slam. Too bad we didn't catch a dolphin, a wahoo, and a tuna- the right kind of slam- to win the tournament.”

 

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Pictured above: Hatchet marlin caught aboard 64’ Viking, "Stihl Leader," currently for sale

 

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Pictured above: 2007 64' Viking "Stihl Leader," currently for sale


Among lady anglers, Lynne Henderson weighed in largest dolphin at 37.8 lbs aboard 60’ Viking “Fragrant Harbour,” and Debi Cantor on 61’ Viking “Waterfront 1” took largest tuna with 15.4 lbs.

This was the 19th annual Mike Schmidt's Winner's Circle Charities Fishing Tournament, and it couldn't be done without sponsors. We'd like to thank all of the sponsors who show up year after year in order to raise much-needed funds for our charities!

Scroll down for more pictures, and keep an eye on our Facebook page for our upcoming video of the tournament!

 

Image 2098: wahoo hang

Pictured above: Tournament record 99 lb wahoo, caught aboard 70' Viking "Mr. LTD"

 

Image 2081: Mark Mitchell fishing on Mr LTD 99lb wahoo

Pictured above: Tournament record 99 lb wahoo, caught aboard 70' Viking "Mr. LTD"

 

 Image 2076: 52 lb dolphin- Viking 80 Demo

 Pictured above: 52 lb dolphin caught aboard 80' Viking demo by Team Hulett

 

 

Image 2079: Final Results

Final results courtesy of Mike Schmidt's Winner's Circles Charities.