Sports

Facebook group reunites boater with overboard chair

The returned bean bag chair sits next to Tom Howard’s boat after it was found by Luke Hurban and Andy Kutz. The chair had gone overboard between Palmetto and Long Bar on a morning fishing excursion by Howard a few days earlier.
The returned bean bag chair sits next to Tom Howard’s boat after it was found by Luke Hurban and Andy Kutz. The chair had gone overboard between Palmetto and Long Bar on a morning fishing excursion by Howard a few days earlier. Photo provided

The Manatee County Fishing Network group on Facebook has slightly fewer than 3,200 members. After what happened recently, those numbers may grow a bit.

Fishing Network member Tom Howard loves to fish — like the other members of the group. He recently purchased his dream boat, a 26-foot Gause Built with a full tower, with all the bells and whistles he wanted. He added a pair of custom bean bags that matched the color of his boat and came with the Gause Built logo at the cost of about $175 each.

Last Sunday he went out early to catch bait before he planned to pick up his family for a midday fishing trip. The bean bags were part of the trip for his family to use when they joined him.

After a little bit of running around, he noticed one of the bean bags was missing.

“It was a little choppy and I guess one blew out. I assumed someone had picked it up, so I didn’t trace and run all the way back,” Howard said. “I put a notice on the Facebook Manatee Fishing Network from the boat pretty confident someone in the online community would find it or know someone who did.”

“Blew a bean bag out of boat between Palmetto and Long Bar,” the post said. “Blue/white with tarpon logo (Gause) if anyone finds it and would like to return. Thanks!”

Around 10 a.m. on Sunday, angler Luke Hurban was running between Sister and Jewfish key when his fishing partner for the day, Andy Kutz, noticed something floating in the water. It was a new bean bag with a custom color and Gause Built logo.

“It was pretty random; we just saw it floating,” Hurban said. “There were a few other boats around drifting the flats for trout, so we just scooped it up. It didn’t look like it had been in the water long and looked clean and new.”

Hours later, Hurban saw a post on the Manatee County Fishing Network, of which he is also a member. “Tom Howard call me,” he replied while leaving his phone number. “I found it.”

The two got together, and Hurban returned the bean bag.

“He was definitely excited,” explained Hurban. “I’m just hoping there are other people in the world who would also have returned it like me.”

The grateful Howard said he would love to repay Hurban in the best way possible. “Great guy, I owe him a fishing trip!” he said.

Solunar table

Sunday

9:25 a.m.

9:50 p.m.

Monday

10:15 a.m.

10:45 p.m.

Tuesday

11:10 a.m.

11:40 p.m.

Wednesday

12:05 p.m.

12:35 a.m.

Thursday

1 p.m.

1:30 a.m.

Friday

2 p.m.

2:30 a.m.

Saturday

3 p.m.

3:30 a.m.

April 30

4 p.m.

4:30 a.m.

May 1

5 p.m.

5:30 a.m.

May 2

5:55 p.m.

6:25 a.m.

May 3

6:50 p.m.

7:15 a.m.

May 4

7:40 p.m.

8:05 a.m.

May 5

8:25 p.m.

8:50 a.m.

May 6

9:10 p.m.

9:35 a.m.

May 7

9:55 p.m.

10:20 a.m.

Calendar

Month

Event

City/town

April 27-28

Spring Old Salt King of the Beach Kingfish Tournament

Madeira Beach

April 29

Flatsmasters Tournament Series Event 2

Punta Gorda

May 5

Tampa Bay Area Boy Scouts tournament

May 13

31st Jerry Hill Memorial Kids tournament

Palmetto

May 13

Bay Area Bassmasters Tournament

Okeechobee

May 19-21

Tampa Bay Summer Boat Show

Tampa

May 19-21

34th Crosthwait Memorial Fishing Tournament

Bradenton

June 3

Flatsmasters Tournament Series Event 3

Punta Gorda

June 6

Florida 11th Annual Inshore Charity Fishing Tournament.

Tampa

June 8-9

Ed Alber tarpon rodeo

Tampa

June 9-11

Bradenton Boat Show

Bradenton

June 9-11

Fire Charity Tournament

Bradenton

June 10

Bay Area Bassmasters Tournament

Tavares

June 15-16

Venice Gulf 2 Bay Classic

Venice

June 18

The Bone Fishing Slam

Madeira Beach

June 25

Hooked on Habitat” Redfish Tournament

Englewood

July 7-8

Gene Cloud Memorial Tournament

Sarasota

July 7-9

DeSoto Fishing Tournament

Bradenton

July 8

Bay Area Bassmasters Tournament

Kissimmee

July TBD

Bay Area Bassmasters Tournament

Sebring

Aug. 12

Bay Area Bass Masters Tournament

Sebring

Aug. 15-19

46th annual Old Salt Loop Billfish Tourney

Madeira Beach

  Comments