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      Nature Report: TIFT Championship

      The 71st Texas International Fishing Tournament is in the record books, and it was a spectacular event. One thousand two hundred and twenty-two anglers competed in the bay and offshore divisions.

      The bay grand champion is Albert Pena from Corpus Christi, and he brought in just over 28 pounds for the two-day tournament.

      Albert Pena, Bay Grand Champion, says, " I have been fishing since I was a little kid, and I got serious probably about five years ago and started fishing a little more with friends and got into the tournaments this year with my brother."

      JR Douglas from Plano is the Offshore Grand Champion, and he won with five tag and release billfish.

      JR Douglas, Offshore Grand Champion, says, "It is a special thing because when the line goes down you feed it and catch it, and you might catch a white marlin, a sailfish or a blue marlin. It is always a surprise when they come up."

      The catch of the tournament went to Francis Knapp of Brownsville, who landed a 670 pound blue marlin. Knapp, who is 86, has been fishing TIFT for some 60 years, and his fish is the biggest marlin ever brought in to TIFT,

      Francis Knapp, says, "When I first got him on I said what time is it, and it was 12:03, and when I put him in the boat it was 2:40, and that last hour was a killer believe me. It was all right there at the boat and you always hate for them to go under the boat and cut them off with the prop. It was very exciting."

      With your Nature Report I'm Richard Moore.