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May 27, 2009

Quantum Leap

Team Defense Rests vaults into the winnings on this season's cobia circuit

What a difference a year makes. When novice saltwater angler Greg Crosslin of Destin, Florida, tried to catch a cobia in 2008, he didn't boat a single fish. So this season he enlisted some ringers. Led by Capt. Wayne Fisher, Billy Montgomery and Justin Moak, Crosslin's Cabo 32, The Defense Rests, was a serious player in every tournament entered. With a total of 75 fish landed, including a dozen weighing 50 pounds or more, Crosslin's team won the prestigious invitational Gulf Coast Cobia Championship and finished in fourth place or higher in five other events.

"Wayne, Billy and Justin have been sight-fishing cobia for a long time," Crosslin says. "They really know their stuff."
 
Son Matt [top photo] fished with his father. Greg's daughter Kimberly [bottom photo] also caught her first cobia while on spring break from college. It weighed 53.5 pounds. That one, combined with two other fish, earned third place in the Lingapalooza tournament. Carson Fisher, Wayne's son, won the Pee Wee trophy for a 53.6-pounder and family friend Katy MacDonald was the top junior angler with a 55.6 during the month-long Harbor Walk Cobia Classic. Crosslin scored his biggest fish to date, a 78.6-pounder fooled by a live eel, to pad their standings.
 
"A lot of our success has to do with how nimble the Cabo is," Crosslin explains. "It turns on a dime. We were able to spot the fish, spin quickly and get to 'em."
 
At 32 feet, The Defense Rests was the smallest boat entered in the open boat division. It was also one of the more economical to operate with a pair of Cummins QSC 440 hp diesels.
 
"When you do the fuel burn per fish, we win hands down," Crosslin says. "We would only use 25 gallons per day idling along, looking for cobia. But when we have to go, it'll cruise at 24 knots. We love our 32 Cabo. It truly is a fishing machine."
 
After earning nearly $41,000 in cobia winnings, the team plans to compete on the billfish circuit this summer.