History of The Winter Classic

The winter classic was born 3 years ago with the intention to bring together some of the best Speckled Trout fisherman the Mobile Bay area has to offer.

The focus was on three parts: First and foremost, the tournament would be artificial bait only. Second, it would be a two-day tournament. Third, this would be the first and only Speckled Trout tournament that would promote and even award bonus weight toward weighing live fish that could be released following the weigh-in process.

The anglers had to fish in some intense weather changes and patterns. On Saturday the wind was blowing from the south at 15-20mph with severe weather rapidly approaching. At approximately 8am the tornado sirens started sounding all over the Mobile County coastline. It’s to my understanding that all anglers sought cover at that time. About an hour after the first tornado siren sounded, the rain had mostly dissipated and all anglers resumed fishing. The rest of the day was near slick calm conditions.

Day one weigh-in had Patric and Trevor in first with a total weight, including bonus, of 20.74#. Wayne Ladnier and Jason Cornelius were in second with a total weight of 17.92# and Jeb Mann and Michael Nicholas were in 3rd with a total weight of 15.88#. On day two the forecast looked grim with winds forecast to blow in the gale force range all day long. Well, the morning began with absolutely slick calm beautiful conditions. These slick calm conditions lasted well into the morning for most anglers (depending on where they were located). Then mid morning all anglers were hit with a wall of wind that was powerful enough to turn a slick calm dog river into a 2' white capping sloppy mess within seconds. The rest of the day, anglers had to figure out how to present a lure and catch a trout at the same time. The weigh-in began at 3pm. Doug Phillips and Luke Ojeda brought in the heaviest sack on Sunday with a total weight of 17.28#, Steve Lindsey and Brandon McCart were close behind with a total Sunday weight of 16.58# and Richard Rutland and Bobby Abruscato had a Sunday total weight of 16.38#. The total weights were tallied and the final results were: Richard and Bobby in 3rd with a total weight of 31.92#; Jeb Mann and Michael Nicholas with a total weight of 31.96# in 2nd place; and Patric Garmeson and Trevor Wood in 1st with a total two day weight of 35.03#. The tournament anglers brought in a total of 130 speckled trout and 98 fish were released alive.