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West Palm Fishing Club Champs

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West Palm Beach The venerable West Palm Beach Fishing Club (WPBFC) has announced the overall champions of its 2014 Summer and Winter Fishing Contests.  The club has also recognized its top Junior and Pee Wee anglers for the 2014 angling year. Jay Young of Jupiter has won the WPBFC coveted Winter Fishing Contest Grand Champion award.  The accomplished angler amassed a total of 23,057.78 points to claim the club prestigious title.  Young dominated the competition this year sweeping nearly all the contest tackle categories.  He has proved to be one of the WPBFC top light tackle anglers, winning this award in 2001, 2008 and 2011.   Young, an active WPBFC member of twenty-one years, is the only club member to win the honor on four separate occasions.  The WPBFC Winter Fishing Contest runs annually from November through April.  Contest participants earn points for their catches in Florida waters using different types of tackle.  Winning this award is both challenging and demanding because anglers have to catch a wide array of fish on a variety tackle to be competitive.  Young name will be engraved on the perpetual Winter Contest Grand Champion award that is on public display inside the historic WPBFC clubhouse. Longtime WPBFC member Dan Kleiser of Jupiter has earned the WPBFC Inshore Grand Champion award in the recently concluded six-month long Summer Fishing Contest.  Kleiser was the only angler to qualify for the award, catching winning fish on a variety of tackle categories including an impressive 30-pound, 8-ounce snook on light plug casting gear.  Kleiser, a WPBFC member for the past 58 years, posted other winning catches that included a 20-pound snook on 8 Spin tackle and an 18-pound snook on 12 General tackle.  All of Kleiser winning snook were caught in the Loxahatchee River during the month of July. Warren Neal of West Palm Beach has claimed the 2014 Summer Fishing Contest Offshore Grand Champion award.  Neal amassed an impressive list of winning fish highlighted by a 23-pound, 6-ounce dolphin on Plug 16 tackle, a 22-pound, 6-ounce African pompano on 12 General tackle and a 34-pound, 1-ounce king mackerel on 25 pound class tackle.  Neal also posted winning entries for barracuda and Spanish mackerel. Christopher Labat of Boynton Beach has earned the WPBFC Pee Wee Angler of the Year title for a second year in a row.  The nine year old caught a wide variety of fish during the angling year including sailfish, dolphin, tarpon, peacock bass and a 10-pound largemouth bass.  Pee Wee anglers are kids age nine and under in the WPBFC. This was Labat last year of eligibility as a Pee Wee. Jon Moore of Atlantis has been named the WPBFC 2014 Junior Angler of the Year.  The thirteen year old earned the prestigious title with a list of catches that would be the envy of any angler, regardless of age.   Moore tallied an impressive list of largemouth bass releases that included fish up to 10 pounds.  He caught and released over 60 bass using a fly rod alone.  Other highlights included a 40-pound tarpon release on fly tackle, a bonefish release on 4-pound test line, peacock bass releases on fly tackle and snook releases on light casting tackle.  Junior anglers are kids ages ten to eighteen in the WPBFC. Awarding anglers for outstanding catches has been a WPBFC tradition since its inception in 1934.  While many fish were boated in the old days, today the majority of fish entered in annual club competitions are caught and released.  The WPBFC has been encouraging the practice of catch, weigh and release for decades through its popular hand scale certification program.  The club has certified well over 1,500 hand scales over the past twenty years.  The WPBFC has even developed a fish-friendly sling that promotes an ethical way to weigh fish before their release.  The WPBFC is currently celebrating its 80th anniversary and is one of the oldest organizations of its kind.  For more information on WPBFC angling programs and other activities visit the club’s website at Nov 20, 2014