MARBURY, Md. "Frank the Tank" proved unstoppable in the Co-Angler division of the CITGO Bassmaster Series Capitol Clash presented by Busch Beer.
The Tank, who signs his name Mike Frazier, took a 3-ounce lead into the final day of Co-Angler competition and managed to put together a three-fish limit of 5 pounds and 14 ounces, good enough to win by just over a pound and a half.
Frazier's winning effort was well received among Elite Series regulars. He is a member of the "Dirty Dozen," a group of angling gypsies who ferry boats from tournament to tournament during the course of the season.
Frazier, who has worked in the fishing industry for many years, had not fished a Co-Angler season until this year. He now has a victory and two other top-10 finishes to his credit in 2006.
According to his pro partner on the final day, Steve Kennedy, Frazier was "plenty nervous" on championship day.
"He missed a big one on a frog," Kennedy said, "and the three small ones he had, well, he was sure that one of those guys close behind him would catch 9 pounds and he was out of it."
Frazier later abandoned the frog and caught the remainder of his limit flipping a jig in the Potomac. He also utilized a short-arm spinnerbait, tipped with a crawfish imitation plastic trailer to simulate a swimming crab, the lure which produced the majority of his keeper fish on the first two tournament days.
The 40-year old Orlando, Fla., resident won a prize package worth $45,000, by far his biggest payday ever in fishing.
The victory also means bragging rights among the always-competitive Dirty Dozen, which means he'll gain in terms of a few side bets and lose by having to pick up the breakfast checks on Sunday.
As for the nickname?
"That was put on me by (pro angler) Brett Hite," Frazier explained. "If you've ever seen the movie, 'Old School', you know where it comes from."
Second place and a boat package worth $25,000 were won by Shawn Huwar of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Huwar fished Saturday with pro angler and tournament leader Rick Morris and brought in the days top Co-Angler weight of 9 pounds, 7 ounces.
The 35-year old real estate salesman was unaware that he had won quite a sizeable prize for second place.
"I won a boat?" he asked. "Man, I was just trying to catch some fish and have some fun. This is awesome."
The 12 pro qualifiers for the final day fish Sunday on the Potomac for the top prize of $100,000 in the Capitol Clash presented by Busch Beer.