CAPT. JOHN DUDAS, Sandman, 1,000 points
Buccaneer Cup, 1st Place – 500 pts.
Jimmy Johnson’s Quest for the Ring, 1st Place – 500 pts.
The eldest son of a legendary captain who dominated south Florida’s tournament scene, John Dudas is in contention of winning every tournament he enters. He’s a true professional in every sense of the word and is only the second captain to win the Cup four times. “We were cold in a couple of tournaments that we didn’t do a whole bunch in, but in the Buccaneer Cup and Jimmy Johnson tournament we did really well. I put that on our crew. First of all, our boss Sandra MacMillan, who lets us do all this stuff, is a great angler. She’s really involved with everything and makes it a lot of fun. We’re lucky to be with an owner who fishes as hard as we do. She loves it and understands what it takes,” Dudas says.
During the Buccaneer Cup the majority of the fleet decided to fish on day one and then lay on Friday since it was forecasted to rain all day. The trolling boats were atop the leaderboard, though one can never count out Sandman. “The third day we were in an area where we were constantly picking off fish. Our crew was able to capitalize on it all and they did an awesome job.” In typical sailfish tournament fashion, first and second place were decided in the final minutes. When all was said and done, Dudas and crew tallied 2,800 points for 14 releases on live bait. This team has been a part of many stunning last-second wins and at the Jimmy Johnson Quest for the Ring tournament, which Sandman won in 2018, competitors scoured an expanded boundary from Palm Beach to Islamorada. Even when things don’t go as planned, winning teams know there’s always a chance until lines out is called.
“The first day of the Jimmy Johnson we fished right off Boynton Beach. I think we were 11 for 13. Tied with the De-Bait-Able but they were ahead of us on time. The second day was deadly slow for us. We watched boats catch fish all around us and we couldn’t buy a bite. Then we heard a bite forming in Miami. Some people picked up and ran, and we had such good fishing the day before and there were fish being caught all around us, so we waited it out off Boynton.” Sandra released the team’s only sailfish at 12:40:34 pm. “We only caught one fish that day, but lucky enough that fish pulled it out and won the tournament for us. It was a nail-biter really, the first day we had so much activity we were really hoping for a big day the second day. We stayed patient and everyone hung in there. We finally caught one fish. And we lost one in the last 10 minutes.”
Literally as close as it gets, the winning team was decided by 26 seconds, with De-Bait-Able calling in their 12th release at 12:41 pm. Dudas credits the program’s success to the close relationships of those who fish together. Working the cockpit are Domi Adams, Alex Castellanos, Jeffrey Liederman, Ryan Montesino, Robbie Waddick and Robbie Ramirez, who was named top master angler at the Jimmy Johnson. Sandra released three sails to earn the tournament’s top female honors for the second consecutive year.
“Really, the Jimmy Johnson tournament is the last time we fished. Everything is up in the air right now with covid. We’ve been working really hard catching live bait and have all of our pens full, so we’re all prepared. With our crew, we have one that’s a nurse and one is a firefighter, so it’s about limiting exposure being around other people. Sandra is still concerned, and she wants to fish, but she just wants to feel comfortable and safe with it. When that happens, we’ll be ready to roll again.”
- 2020 Capt. John Dudas // Sandman // 1000 Points
- 2019 Capt. Nick Carullo // Showtime // 1250 Pts.
- 2018 Capt. John Dudas // Sandman // 1200 Pts.
- 2017 Capt. Glenn Cameron // Floridian // 1100 Pts
- 2016 Capt. Scott Fawcett // Off the Chain (Trust Me Too/Martha D) // 1300 Points
- 2015 Capt. Jim Mulcahy // BAR South // 850 Pts.
- 2014 Capt. Wink Doerzbacher //Showtime! // 1950 Pts.