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Light winds and temperatures reaching into the high 70s made for great conditions for the annual Ludington Offshore Classic Women’s Pro/Am Friday.The fishing fast and furious with most of the 27 boats entering the tournament getting their five-fish limit on the day. The boat Pure Injection, out of Grand Haven and captained and owned by Karl Chapel, was one of those boats with a winning five fish total weight of 90.36-pounds.Chapel said that fishing started off slow for his team of Wendy Morrow, Alyson Sybesma, Ashleigh Whitney, Kathy Klein, Tanya Chapel and Madison Chapel but picked up as the day moved on.“We fished south of Ludington in about 120 to 150-feet of water,” Chapel said.Chapel said they found some nice fish and hooked into a lake trout, that tipped the scale at 26.2-pounds.“We had a great day, we caught 11 fish total and that was enough to move us into first place,” he said. Chapel said Pure Injection has fished in Ludington for years and have done fairly well in the offshore classic.“Our girls seem to do real well and have won Ludington a handful of times.”Ludington has a great fishery, and it is always a good time when they come here, he said.“It is one of the best tournaments on the trail by far,” Chapel said. ”We are looking forward to a good Saturday and Sunday as they will compete in the Ludington Offshore Classic Men’s Pro/Am.In second place in the pro division was Hillbilly with a five fish weight of 82.1-pounds and third place to Catch Me with a five fish weight of 80.25-pounds.Twenty-three teams competed in the amateur division with Happy Jack 3 winning the event with a five fish weight of 79.7-pounds. Chasin Limits took second place with a five fish weight of 74.2-pounds and third place went to Bear With Me with a five fish limit of 64.25-pounds.Also on Friday the offshore classic played host to the youth tournament in which 42 kids fished the waters of Lake Michigan. The youth tournament was sponsored by Safe Harbor Credit Union who was more than happy to offer $2,500 in prize money to the top fish weights and gift cards to places 11 to 25.“When it is an event to benefit the youth, that is what we like to do,” said President Adam Johnson.Reece Ward took home top honors this year in the youth tournament with a fish that weighted-in at 27.7-pounds.Ward fished on the Ludington boat Clock’d Out during the youth tournament.“Reece fought the fish for a while, we had to clear one whole side of the boat to get it in,” said his father. “There were four kids on the boat and he was the oldest so he went fourth and the rotation just worked out for him.”Brandy Miller, Ludington & Scottville Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, said one of the goals for the Ludington Offshore Classic Fishing Tournament is that everyone has fun, especially for those competing in the youth tournament.“They (the youth) had a great time. Literally every kid came in with a smile on their face,” she said. “Most of the kids had fish to weigh, so that was even better.”Miller said the youth tournament usually has between 40 to 50 participants and this year was no different.“This is about enjoying the sport of fishing and trying to get them into it,” she said.The Offshore Classic continues throughout the weekend with the Pro/Am Tournament on Saturday and Sunday.
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