Team Slick Line

Team Slick Line repeated as champions with a 251-pound tiger shark in the 2019 Sharp Tooth Shootout in Port O’Connor. (Jared Van Epps/Wave photo)

Another successful Sharp Tooth Shootout tourney in Port O’Connor

The Port O’Connor Shark Hunters hosted their sixth annual Sharp Tooth Shootout last Saturday with some familiar teams taking home the top prizes.

Teams Slick Line and Wild Bill returned to defend their titles in their respective categories. Last year Slick Line won the tournament with a 693-pound tiger shark, and this year they won with another tiger shark weighing in at 251.4 pounds.

Michael Blaha, of Corpus Christi, reeled in the winner this year like his teammate did last year.

Blaha said he is “happy and honored” that his team won back-to-back tournaments. Blaha hoped that his team would catch something bigger like last year’s shark.

“We always go for the biggest one that we can. We aim for big sharks and catch a small one for the stringer,” Blaha said.

Blaha won close to $8,000 at the tournament. Blaha said the money will go towards their fishing, hunting, and things like that.

In the Stingray category, the competition got heated as team Wild Bill defended their biggest stingray title with 136.2 pounds edging out Team Waiting for Sharks by less than two pounds.

Bill Caldwell, of team Will Bill, said the competition was amazingly close, and he added that the crowd’s reaction was “wild” when the final weight results came in.

Caldwell and his team won more than $1,500 for finishing in first place overall and winning the Biggest Stingray category, and he said he’ll use that money to pay off bills and boat payments.

Thirty-two teams participated in this year’s tournament, according to Tournament Director/Founder Mark Robinson. Robinson said it was a great tournament and attracted a great crowd.

“We probably have 300 people here watching…so that’s what it is here for, so the people can come watch.” Robinson said.

This year has been encouraging as anglers are catching sharks and stingrays, Robinson said. He added that there are many sharks in the bay now, and as a fishing guide in Port O’Connor, he’s catching five to six sharks a day versus only one a day.

All the fish were donated once again to the Fishermen’s Chapel, and they asked Robinson to host the tournament again this year, he said.

“It started off a small tournament with me and my friends, and they [the Fishermen’s Chapel] asked if they could be involved so they could receive some donations of the shark meat,” Robinson said.

Results - Place/Team/Total Weight of Catch (lb.):

--Sharks--

First: Slick Line - 269.3

Second: Clown Mouth - 164

Third: Wild Bill - 98.6

--Stingrays--

First: Wild Bill - 136.2

Second: Waiting for Sharks - 134.6

--Jack Fish—

First: Bay Rats - 23.4