After storming onto the Kingfish Tour leaderboards in 2016, the young guns of the local Four Reel Fishing Team proved that the boys could compete in an elite sport dominated by grown men. Established more than three years ago in Palm Valley by father Curt Englert, and sons Hayden and Harrison, the original 36’ Yellowfin was named Four Reel.
Soon thereafter the boys had an entourage of life-long friends who were avid anglers forming a roster of, Captain Jack Richardson, Cade Macri, Jack Cressman, Jacob Belanger and Chase Richardson. All members of the team are now the ripe, seasoned ages of 16-21, and proving that hard work, preparation and dedication to their game have given them great successes in a short period of time.
It’s not without paying their dues however. After winning two major tournaments, placing third in two more, and other top finishes in 2016, they’ve been through some team transitions, boat changes, mechanical issues and the trials and tribulations that come with tournament fishing in 2017.
Most people think they’re just a bunch of rich kids from Palm Valley who are fishing off daddy’s boat and claiming all the glory. But, every penny of their $40,000 plus tournament earnings have been sunk back into the team, and they all have jobs and work hard to maintain a level of success and consistency — which is the hardest thing to do in tournament fishing.
The layperson doesn’t realize how much preparation goes into fishing one of these major tournaments. It’s not just buying a bunch of bait, gas and packing a few sandwiches for the day. A typical tournament involves for than 100 hours of preparation!
During tournament week, the guys all know their roles on and off the water. “Our chemistry has helped us become a great team. When we have a fish on, everyone knows what to do,” Macri said.
The most important element is the boat, checking all the electronics, the motor and everything from bow to stern. On land, they’re rigging rods, leaders, tuning up reels, pre-fishing and going to see Dave Workman Jr. at Strike-Zone to gear up and load up on baits that can cost $10 per bait! The captains are checking tide and weather charts, scanning water temps periodically and looking at water color and clarity to form plans A, B and C.
The final step is to look at the roster to see who will be able to fish, because on tournament day, all seven members can’t be on the boat (it’s normally only five) but between work and school schedules, it all seems to work out.
The boys had a sweet taste of success from all of their hard work in 2016, and engine troubles, team transitions with work and school, and maybe a little bit of bad luck is all part of being a dedicated big game fishing team.
“At the end of the day,” said team member Harrison Englert, “we’re in it to have fun!” They’ll be back on the podium again in no time, and there is always an element of luck in tournament fishing. As the old saying goes, “luck is when preparation meets opportunity,” and all of the dedication these guys put into the team shows the competition that they are … Four Reel!