Fishing the Southern Kingfish Association's divisional trail allows a team to fish their local waters, compete with many friends as well as earn the right to qualify for the SKA National Championships - aka The 'BIG DANCE'. In 2016 Division V had 41 teams weigh a fish in the open category. Team FishDancer is pleased with our 80.69 points and 6th place finish in the Division. This season we were able to place Nancy in 3rd place Lady Angler and both Nan and I earned a tie 4th place senior angler. Since we began our competitive angling career back in 1996 much has changed within divisional competition - eveyone knows about the economy, fishing regulations, cost of fuel, etc. Team FishDancer's home SKA division is Division V, historically one of the largest and most competitive SKA Divisions. Recently I reviewed the divisional standings over the years and have found some interesting factoids that I thought I might share with my readers:
First and foremost CONGRATULATIONS to our angling buddies on the Sweet Caroline (pictured above in action during the Greater JAX KMT) for their first place finish in 2016's SKA Division V. Sweet Caroline finished with 122.25 points. To put their performance in perspective this is the 3rd best point total in Division V since 1996 falling short of the highest point total scored by Get Wet (126 points in 2008) and the 2nd highest total scored by The Real Yellow Pages (123.12 in 2009). Amazingly Sweet Caroline's 2016 Division V performance is the 3rd best of a total of 1,817 final team scores available back to 1996 - WOW, great job. The 2016 participation in Division V is illustrative of the changes in the SKA over the years, with 41 teams weighing a fish. Compare this to the peak year of 2003 when Division V had 226 teams weighing a fish and you get a sense of how much our sport has declined over the last few seasons. From 1998 to 2016 the average number of teams to weigh a fish in the Open Division has been 107. Some bright news is the fact that 2016 saw an increase over the past few seasons in terms of participation - perhaps SKA competition numbers have hit their low and are now rebounding? We can only hope.
We were also wondering what number it would take to qualify for the 'BIG DANCE"? Since back in the day only the top 15 teams earned a ticket the Dance, we used today's 25th place qualifying requirement and reviewed the historical data. On average - from 1998-2016 - the 25th place team earned 64.13 points. The highest 25th place performance was 83.48 points and the lowest was 27.35 last season. It took all of 30.65 points in 2016 to earn your ticket to the 'BIG DANCE' out of Division V
There is much to do to prepare for the SKA Nationals to be held in Fort Pierce, Florida on November 11th and 12th. This includes a new no entry fee event for all Nationals Qualifiers - The Mercury Pregame Bash for Cash on Wednesday November 9th, 2016. It should be a fun week in Fort Pierce - we are looking forward to seeing everyone there.