TAMPA – Battling tough winds and rain, and working with a boat that wasn’t up to the task sure didn’t make for an easy day on the water.
Trevor Loving and Josh Campbell competed at the Kingfish Tournament at Madeira Beach in early May and came up with nothing except for one quick bite. They were at a handicap from the start, riding with a backup boat since their main boat was having problems with its fuel injector.
Loving said the backup boat, only 23 feet long, wasn’t ready to deal with the wind and the conditions. But it won’t be a problem next time, as he and Campbell were getting their main boat in shape to compete in later events.
Loving is a Sickles graduate and Campbell is a senior at Steinbrenner. Both hope to make a career out of life on the ocean by fishing. Campbell is about to get his captain’s license and wants to get a charter business going. They were hoping to make a splash at the Kingfish Tournament, but the engine issues put them at a major disadvantage. “We worked hard to get ready, but the backup boat was just too small to compete,” Loving said. “We did our best to get ready, but when we get our boat back, we’ll be ready for the next tournament.”
While Campbell and Loving dealt with five-foot seas on the smaller backup boat, their confidence never wavered.
“They never cancel the tournament unless things are extremely bad,” Loving said. “We knew if we got out there we had a chance. They just weren’t biting in those conditions.”
Loving and Campbell’s team, “Hammered Down,” is made up of six people and has several area sponsors including Anderson Road Café. Everyone on the team is from the Northwest and Carrollwood areas.