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The 2017 Buds & Suds Contractor Invitational, the plumbing industry’s premier big game fishing tournament, showcased 27 teams of contractors from across North America who joined forces, Oct. 6-7, with their host-sponsoring manufacturers to battle it out on the Sea of Cortez for big fish, glory and cash and prizes totaling more than $50,000.
Sponsoring teams at this year’s event included Holdrite, Sloan, Uponor, Rheem, Milwaukee Tool, Charlotte Pipe, Mifab, TracPipe, Delta, and Oatey.
On Day 1 of the tournament, the teams saw some great action on the Sea of Cortez. When the scale closed, the leader board was tight with just one fish separating the top 10 teams. The Sloan-sponsored team, Flush Mates, weighed a qualifying tuna early in the afternoon and held on to win the daily Tuna Jackpot, cashing in on $8,950. Team members included Don Yurkovich from Sloan, Mike Burdette from Diversified, Gary Shaw from Mechanical Design & Installation, and Mike Mills from Mills Mechanical.
No qualifying dorado hit the weigh station on the first day so the Dorado Jackpot rolled forward, putting $16,100 up for grabs on Day 2 and adding another element of drama to the event.
Going into Day 2 of the tournament, it was anyone’s tournament to win. Teams adjusted their strategy and awoke to nearly perfect conditions on the Sea of Cortez. The starting gun was fired just as the sun peeked out over the horizon. The fleet of 27 boats raced off in search of the elusive big fish and looking to make a big move on the leaderboard.
As the fleet of tournament boats started to make their way back to the dock, the weigh station was filled with more than one very anxious team. As the last boat made its way to the dock, it was confirmed that no tuna would be weighed on Day 2. The Day 2 Tuna Jackpot would “roll back” to the Day 1 winners, the Flush Mates, netting them a cool $17,900 in total winnings.
When the scale closed on Day 2, the tournament officials packed up and went to tally the results. As luck would have it only one fish separated the top seven teams for podium and cash positions.
The team with the best karma of the tournament was the Charlotte Pipe-sponsored team from Wisconsin, The Alpine Hot Rods. After their boat broke down on Day 1 they had to take a last-minute substitution boat. Early in the afternoon they caught a nice-sized dorado, then raced in to get it weighed. Their dorado ultimately held up and they ended up taking down the Day 1 & Day 2 Dorado Jackpot worth $16,100. Team Members included Eric Juhl from Charlotte Pipe, Paul Ginter from H.S.A., Chris Holle and Rob Wage, both from Alpine Plumbing.
3rd Place overall went to the Rheem-sponsored team, Tight Lines, fishing on the El Loco II. Team members included Dylan Fisher and Derrick Holman from Rheem, Brad Wieler from B&L Plumbing, and Jeff Redd from Pineview Plumbing. They boated one blue marlin and three striped marlin to score 650 points.
2nd Place overall went to the Milwaukee Tool-sponsored team, fishing on the boat named “Seas the Day.” The team of Mike Kirby from Milwaukee Tool, Roger Wilson and Joseph DiCristo both from WDF Inc definitely seized the day by boating two blue marlin and two striped marlin to tally up an impressive 700 points.
The 1st Place team was the Mifab co-sponsored team, Kliman Sales fishing on the “Picante 45.” The team from Northern California included Corey Kliman from Kliman Sales, Ray Lyons from Lyons Brothers Plumbing, and Brooke Joseph from Pan Pacific. The Sea of Cortez rewarded their efforts with three blue marlin and two striped marlin, giving their team 900 points, $10,000 in cash and crowned Champions of the 2017 Buds & Suds Contractor Invitational.
About Buds & Suds Contractor Invitational
This Invitation Only event is the plumbing and mechanical industries premier big game fishing tournament is comprised of teams made up of the leading plumbing and mechanical contractors in North America and their host sponsors. The teams compete for cash, prizes, and of course bragging rights at this Big Fish tournament held on the world-renowned Sea of Cortez in Baja Mexico. This area is known as one of the premier big-game fishing spots in the world as the waters here consistently produce large numbers of BIG marlin, sailfish, tuna, dorado, and more.