KDW Classic Celebrates 20 Years

Early summertime fishing opportunities had south Florida anglers eager to get on the water and test their luck in pursuit of kingfish, dolphin and wahoo. The 20th annual Palm Beach County KDW Classic took place in June with over 1000 participants fishing aboard 210 registered boats. The KDW Classic is hosted by the venerable West Palm Beach Fishing Club (WPBFC) and is among the largest one-day saltwater tournaments in Florida. The Marine Industries Associations of Palm Beach County is the presenting sponsor of the event.

Trolling deep baits in the heat of June isn’t well known for an incredible wahoo bite. In fact, some years just one wahoo in total is caught in the KDW Classic. The 20th annual tournament was a bit different; it fell right on the full moon which always entices a better bite for the striped ‘hoo. By the time the 2 pm “lines-out” ruling was called, 8 different teams weighed in a wahoo, all taking home a cash prize. Alysha Larocque of North Palm Beach, fishing aboard the Emily Bliss, weighed in the heaviest wahoo at 29.5 pounds. With this fish Alysha earned the coveted Queen of the Classic title for being the lady angler who landed the heaviest eligible weight fish.

Fishing aboard the Golden Croaker, angler Mark Prazak became the King of the Classic catching the heaviest kingfish, which was also the single the biggest eligible fish of the tournament. Mark’s kingfish hit the scale at Riviera Beach Marina and weighed in at 33.6 pounds. Serious bragging rights go with being named the King and Queen of the Classic when fishing against other seasoned crews and anglers. Mark and Alysha’s names are now engraved on the KDW Classic perpetual trophy which is featured in the NPB Brass Ring Pub year-round.

Christopher Perrone of team Heavy Hitters landed the heaviest dolphin, weighing 14.5 pounds. The sea conditions were calm and ideal for “run and gun” dolphin fishing. With solid weed mats well offshore, many boats went out to depths of 1000 ft. in search of mahi-mahi. Heavy Hitters wouldn’t catch the winning dolphin way-out; their fish was caught in just 85 ft. of water.

The Top Junior Angler was Noah Kleiser who landed a 12 lb. kingfish aboard the Sublime. Recognizing junior anglers and promoting family fishing has always been an exciting aspect of the tournament.

The Palm Beach County KDW Classic raises money for scholarships, youth fishing programs and marine conservation initiatives conducted by the WPBFC and its charitable affiliate, the Palm Beach County Fishing Foundation. “The support we receive from our dedicated team of volunteers and sponsors is what makes all this possible. We are so very grateful to have them on board.”, concluded WPBFC Chairman of the board, Pete Schulz.

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