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Fishing Notes

Abaco tournament is added to WBS tour

The 26th Annual Treasure Cay Billfish Tournament was recently added as a sanctioned event of the World Billfish Series. The event, taking place June 7-12 in Abaco,

Bahamas, will be one of 60 in the seven worldwide divisions of the WBS World Tour.

Competitors in the Treasure Cay Billfish Tournament can fish in as many tournaments as possible within a particular division in an attempt to win a World Billfish Series division. At the completion of each of these sanctioned tournaments, the top anglers in each division, as well as the top angler in the entire WBS tournament, qualify to attend the WBS grand championships in Los Suenos, Costa Rica. The top prizes include a new Mercedes C-300 and a gold championship ring.

The Treasure Cay tournament, a modified release tournament, features social parties, dinners and competitions, including a Dock Party Cookoff, in addition to four days of fishing.

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Islamorada resident takes sailfish crown

Jill Clark of Islamorada won the top angler title at the two-day Islamorada Presidential Sailfish Tournament, but it didn’t come easily. Her line became entangled in the boat’s propeller and, according to the International Game Fishing Association rules, she had to unravel the line from the boat prop herself without help. Though her teammates held her by her ankles over the side as she tried to maneuver her pole and rod underwater, she had to don a mask, and jumped in. She eventually reeled the fish in and her team, Wet Dream, took second place. Team Relentless won the overall championship, while Reel McCoy took third. Eighty-seven anglers on 27 boats released a total of 123 sailfish.

This year the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament replaced the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament. The lodge has closed temporary because of a fire, but says its tournament will return in 2010. For information, call (305) 461-3300.

335-pound shark puts Merrit over the top

Karl A. Paganelli of Sand Lake, Mich., was named out-of-county master angler in the 2008 Key West (Fla.) Fishing Tournament. His catches included a 16.8-pound kingfish, a 10.4-pound grouper, and an 8-pound mackerel — the heaviest of the tournament.

In-county master angler was Joe Merrit of Key West, former winner of the pee wee and junior divisions. Merrit recorded 87 releases — including 37 dolphin and 32 tarpon. He also caught the tournament’s single heaviest fish: a hammerhead shark weighing 335.5 pounds.

Skyler Robison of Ocean Beach, N.Y, defended his out-of-county pee-wee title for the fourth time, while Nick Trapp of Grand Rapids, Mich., and Caroline Waterman of Key Largo, Fla., earned the junior titles. Ruth Stoky of Key Largo took home the women’s in-county title. The 2009 tournament runs through Nov. 30.

This article originally appeared in the April 2009 issue.