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Anglers reel in Redbone tournament

Anglers reel in Redbone tournament

Naples, Fla., angler Troy Pruitt released four redfish and six bonefish to capture grand champion honors at the two-day (Dec. 3-5) Mercury Cheeca Redbone tournament in the Florida Keys.

Pruitt and teammate Jeff Ball, also of Naples, also took the team championship while fishing with Capt. Rich Tudor.

The Naples team released a total of 10 bonefish and 8 reds, tallying 8 “Redbones” (combinations of one bonefish and one redfish) for bonus points.

The celebrity grand championship was awarded to former Major League Baseball first baseman Mike Stanley with 22 redfish releases. Stanley fished with Capt. Chris Jones. Stanley had been on Redbone-winning teams previously but had never won an individual title.

“Took a while, but feels great,” said Stanley, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native.

The grand champion lady angler was Linda Denkert, fishing with her husband, Capt. Dave Denkert, both of Tavernier, Fla.

The Redbone, a fundraiser for cystic fibrosis research and treatment, attracted 128 anglers, according to tournament director Gary Ellis. Anglers released 37 bonefish and 243 redfish from 63 registered boats.

Tavernier angler Jim Bokor won the 2005 trilogy title, an award for the most points garnered during three 2005 Keys-based tournaments including the Mercury Southernmost Light-Tackle Anglers Masters, the Mercury Baybone tournament and the Redbone. Bokor also won the trilogy team title with Robert Collins of Naples.