Winning is ‘contagious’ at Mad Dog Classic
For Steve Burke and Earl Riske of Tavernier, Fla., winning really caught on during the Mad Dog Mandich Fishing Classic in Islamorada last October.
Guided by Captain Brian Cove on the boat Contagious, Burke and Riske captured the $5,000 cash-and-trophy first-place boat prize. The team brought in fish with a combined weight of 136.1 pounds. Target species in the tournament were dolphin, kingfish, tuna, wahoo, snapper and grouper.
Burke also caught the tournament’s top single dolphin and tuna.
Riske brought in a winning kingfish and was named the tournament’s top angler for catching 57.2 pounds of fish.
The tournament’s Weekend Warrior title for catching the top snapper and grouper went to Miami’s Jose Ibarra.
Seventy-eight anglers on 19 boats participated in the Mad Dog Mandich Fishing Classic.
Keys anglers triumph in backcountry challenge
After a weekend spent angling for trophy-size snook and redfish, six division winners came out on top at the 2008 Take Stock in Children Backcountry Challenge in the Florida Keys.
Seventeen-year-old Thomas Tafoya of Key Largo won the adult snook division with a 30-inch fish. Tafoya chose to fish in the adult division because he wanted as much competition as possible. He caught the winning fish within the first five minutes of the tournament. Tafoya also caught a redfish, a bonefish, permit and tarpon while sight fishing with artificial bait.
Runner-up in the snook division was Patrick Meyer of Key Largo with a 28.5-inch fish.
Bart Bellmer of Osage Beach, Mo., placed third with a 22-inch snook. He also took second place in the adult redfish division with a 20.5-inch fish.
Winner of the adult redfish division was Key Largo’s Jared Rascob, whose prize catch measured 31.5 inches.
The pro division winner, determined by combined length of one snook and one redfish, was Spencer Holeman of Key Largo for fish totaling 55 inches.
Mary Ann Goodwin of Key Largo won the ladies’ division despite being eight months pregnant and fishing her first tournament. Goodwin’s catches totaled 49.5 inches.
The youth division, with winners also determined by combining the length of one snook and one redfish, was won by 14-year-old Daniel Singleton of Islamorada, Fla., whose fish had a combined length of 48.5 inches.
Top guide at the tournament was Capt. Kerry Wingo of Key Largo.
This story originally appeared in the January 2009 issue.