Local fishing team reels in $15K payday with big king mackerel

After fishing together for the past five years, Team Reel Head picked up its first win this past weekend. Captain Adam Lane of Garfield, Tim Mason of Swainsboro, and Brandon Claxton of Kite took to coastal Georgia’s waters this past weekend and returned home with a sizable payday.

The three men explained to The Chronicle on Sunday afternoon they’ve had some success over the past few years, but none tops what they experienced a few days ago. Team Reel Head has finished in the top 10 of various tournaments in the last five years, including placing second in back-to-back years at the Golden Isles Kingfish Tournament in Brunswick, which happens to be the largest event of its kind in Georgia. The team has also placed in the top 10 of the Southern Kingfish Association points standings each year for the state over the past five years, qualifying for nationals every year they’ve competed as a unit.

All of those outings on the water led to their best showing yet. Held at Shellman Bluff on Saturday, July 10, Team Reel Head was one of 73 teams/boats to compete in the 41st Annual Sapelo Open Kingfish Tournament open to the public.

The team took first place with a king mackerel that weighed in at 31.64 pounds. In doing so, the three locals beat out the closest competitor, a 28.81 pound king mackerel landed by Tall Tail, by almost 3 pounds.

Mason, Lane, and Clayton said they were excited but surprised to pick up the victory. Though they expected a fish of that size to win due to a storm that had just passed through Georgia, they were shocked their fish weighed 31+ pounds; early on, the team estimated the fish they landed to be in the mid-20s range.

The winning fish secured a $15,000 payday. Counting the calcuttas (the side bets), Team Reel Head altogether brought back to Swainsboro winnings that exceeded $18,000.

Their next tournament will be the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament this weekend, July 14 through July 17, in Florida.

The trio would like to thank their wives—Stefanie Mason, Angel Lane, and Whitney Claxton—and their kids for supporting them. Team Reel Head would also like to recognize its sponsors: Lane Brothers Auction, Georgia Equipment Sales and Rentals, SeaVee Boats, Load Master Trailer, Bulloch Marine, and Reel Head Apparel in Miami, Florida.

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