FREEPORT — As the second day of the 72nd annual Fishin’ Fiesta rolled around, the leaderboard spots on the inshore and offshore adult and juvenile categories, and even the early mini tournaments, already had several names on the board.
An angler in the tournament since he was a tyke, Brazosport quarterback Brendan Brimage was listed five times in four categories in the Adult Offshore up until noon Thursday.
His biggest catch was a 60.5-pound grouper that took over first place, but it proved to be more challenging than being under the Friday night lights.
“I fought it for about 15 minutes and it wore me out,” he said. “It was probably harder than getting away from a defensive lineman. It wasn’t as easy as scrambling out of the pocket, but it was tough.
I love catching grouper, because its an exciting moment when that rod bends over and it is on from there.”
Brimage and family were about 100 miles offshore when he scored the grouper. He also led the King Mackerel category with a 24-pounder and red snapper at 13.34 and second place at 13.01, and another first in the ling with a 23.5-pounder.
“I’ve only been fishing offshore for four years, but I’ve been fishing my whole life,” he said. “We took the day off today but will be back out again Friday.
“Fishing as an adult is a lot more challenging because as a juvenile there aren’t many kids going offshore,” Brimage said. “With adults, it is more challenging, but it isn’t a challenge that we cannot handle.”
Today Brimage and company will go after the kingfish and snapper.
Morgan Woodard, an incoming senior at Sweeny, made a return appearance at the weigh station Thursday.
Woodard interviewed with The Facts as a 12-year-old when he brought in a 9-pound redfish that won the Juvenile Inshore category that year. On Thursday, Woodard dragged a 40-pound gar that didn’t place, so he was headed to the Trinity River to see if he could get a bigger one.
Jones Creek’s Robert Schuck took his family out for a day of fishing, giving some pointers to his 6-year-old son, Jase Schuck. The youngster brought in some speckled trout that landed on the leaderboard and had the largest hardhead at 1 1/2 pounds in the Non-Grand Prize category. The speckled trout were a 1.98-pound second placer and a 1.82 that was good enough for third.
“He loves fishing and it’s one of those things that wherever I go, he goes,” Robert Schuck said. “I don’t leave the house by myself too much. Since the first time I took him and hooked a trout at the surf he got hooked.”
This was the first time the Schucks were fishing at Fishin’ Fiesta.
“I’ve always distanced myself from the crowds, but now I have them,” Robert Schuck said. “And I thought that maybe they’d be interested in doing it, and I got one out of the bunch that wanted to do it. He’s been bothering me for the last two weeks.”
Robert Schuck III also placed in the Adult Inshore category with a 5.15-pound speckled trout, good for second place.
Today’s Inshore Mini Tournament is a trout stringer and the Offshore Mini Tournament is the Kingfish.