Record set in sailfish tournament
Relentless, the winning team at the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament, released a record 30 sailfish — a tournament first for a single boat.
“It was so calm we were sight-fishing from the tuna tower the first day, then Saturday the wind shifted to bring Spanish sardines in from the deep gulf,” says Captain Paul Ross. “The sails were right behind them.”
The team consisted of Florida residents Fenton Langston, Jimmy Hendrix, Debbie and Jimmy David, and Ross — who earned captain honors.
George McElveen’s team, Reel McCoy, placed second overall in the December tournament. Fellow team members Larry Amyotte, Sea Smith, John Watson and Robert Collins released 26 sailfish. Jimmy David and Reggie Rodriguez went head-to-head for the top angler spot, tied at 11 releases. Rodriguez posted an earlier time to win. Ninety-six anglers participated, releasing a total of 406 sailfish.
Tavernier anglers take Sailfish Classic title
Two Tavernier, Fla., natives won the Don Gurgiolo Sailfish Classic, which recently took place in Islamorada in the Florida Keys.
Becky Hester and T.J. Hobson released 17 sailfish on Caribsea. The second-place team caught 11 sailfish, while the third-place team logged 10.
Forty-six anglers participated in the event in December, in which 128 sailfish were released.
The tournament honors the late Don Gurgiolo, a pioneer of light-tackle and live-bait techniques, who was an angler for more than 50 years.
MIASF takes over billfish tournament
The upcoming 44th Annual Fort Lauderdale Billfish Tournament is under new management.
The former organization in charge of the show, East Coast Eventz, has relinquished all promotion and production responsibilities, according to Marine Industries Association of South Florida.
MIASF says it will now run the show with the help of its board members. The event, scheduled for Feb. 5-8, will take place at Las Olas Marina in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The event is a part of the Sailfish Pro Series. The guaranteed first-place prize is $100,000. For information, visit www.lauderdalebillfish.com.
This article originally appeared in the March 2009 issue.