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Fishing Notes

Successful debut for Chub Cay billfish tourney

Twenty-three of some of the finest sportfishing boats in the world gathered at the newly opened Chub Cay Marina in the BerryIslands, Bahamas, to compete in the First Annual Chub Cay Billfish Tournament, Jan. 17 to 20. This is the first fishing tournament to take place at Chub Cay since it reopened in June 2006 after complete redevelopment and renovation.

The flotilla of sportfishing boats was greeted by new concrete floating docks with pedestals, dock boxes and pump out stations at the slips. The renovated marina, dredged to a depth of 12 feet at low tide, now has 110 slips with an expansion planned for an additional 100 slips. The channel has also been widened and dredged to a depth of 12 feet at low tide with new range markers directing the way to the entrance to the marina.

Chub Cay Owners Kaye Pearson, Walt McCrory and Bob Moss were on hand to welcome the participants to the “new” Chub Cay. Cocktail parties, dinners and breakfasts were included in the tournament.

“Luckily, some things never change, which includes the legendary fishing that Chub Cay is famous for,” says Pearson, chairman of Chub Cay Club Associates.

A total of 11 billfish were released on the first day — seven blue marlin and four white marlin. Black Gold, a 65-foot American Yacht, owned by Harry Sargeant and captained by Keith Bokenhagen, took the early lead in the tournament with three white marlin releases, including a double-header. Kilcare and Due Course tied for second place, each with one blue marlin release. On the first day of fishing, lines were in the water at 8 a.m., with the first hook-up at 8:03 a.m.

The second day brought a total shift to white marlin and a dramatic ending to the day with another double-header, this time by Dixie Devil. The third and final day of fishing brought more whites and blues resulting in a total of 22 billfish releases plus catches of wahoo and dolphin.

Homestead team takes sailfish championship

The Contender One team says being prepared and fishing hard are the “secrets behind their success.” Those tactics paid off as the team won the 2006-2007 Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship.

Captain and angler Bill Cordes, mate/angler Wayne Savage and angler Joe Neber, owner of Contender Boats, all of Homestead, Fla., released 35 sailfish during the three-tournament series that includes the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament, Cheeca Presidential Sailfish Tournament and Islamorada Fishing Club Sailfish Tournament.

A check for $7,500 went to the winners, along with the Gold Cup perpetual trophy.

Second place and a check for $4,500 went to the Miami-based Get Lit team with Capt. Ray Rosher at the helm. Anglers Kitt Toomey, Peter Miller, Jon Cooper and Charmain Rosher released 30 sails during the series.

The Wound Up team took third place. Capt. John Dudas of Miami led Miami anglers Warren and Jance Sands, Brett Dudas of Fort Lauderdale, and Roy Huff of Homestead, Fla., to 28 releases.

John Anderson of Boynton Beach, Fla., took high-point angler honors, releasing 16 sailfish.

The Contender One team began the series with a win at the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament, Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 in Islamorada, with 27 releases. It was the team’s second straight win at the Islamorada event.

Get Lit came in second at the Islamorada tournament and third at the Cheeca Presidential, which ran Jan. 18 to 20.

Wound Up won the Cheeca Presidential and Islamorada Fishing Club tournaments, but could not catch the lead built up by Contender One. The IFC took place Jan. 24 and 25.

Eighty-six anglers fished the championship series from 26 boats, racking up a total of 405 sailfish releases during the series.

Two tournaments have new names

The two popular International Game Fish Association’s annual billfish and fly/light tackle competitions known as the Rolex/IGFA Offshore and Inshore Championship Tournaments, have taken on new names.

“The new titles for the invitational tournaments will reflect the continuing global growth of each beginning with the upcoming eighth annual IGFA Offshore World Championship this May and the seventh annual IGFA Inshore World Championship in July,” says Mike Myatt the IGFA tournament director.

“The title sponsorships of Rolex have come to an end. We’ve deeply appreciated their generosity since the beginning with the offshore championship in the year 2000 and the inception of the inshore championship in 2001. We’ll be working with them in other events.”

Myatt says negotiations are under way for new presenting sponsors for each event. Announcements are expected to be made over the winter.

Islamorada skipper wins Over the Hill Rip-Off

Capt. Dennis Bogan of Islamorada released three fish to win the 18th annual Capt. Al Flutie Over The Hill Rip-Off sailfish tournament held off Key Largo.

Bogan fished aboard Reel McCoy with Capt. George McIlveen at the helm.

Second place went to anglers Ed Kimmen and “Turkee” Bill Hartman, both of Pompano Beach, Fla. The team released two sails while fishing aboard Old Hatt, Captained by Wes King.

John Fjelove of Islamorada took third place. He released one fish, while fishing from and captaining Checkmate One.

The one-day tournament for anglers age 50 and over attracted 77 anglers fishing from 33 boats. There were 18 hookups, 15 sailfish releases and three tagged fish.

Groups form Anglers’ Legacy partnership

The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation and the National Professional Anglers Association announced a new partnership to promote the Anglers’ Legacy program.

Anglers’ Legacy was launched in July 2006 and targets the country’s estimated 7.5 million most avid anglers. The program asks avid anglers to share their passion for fishing and help expand the sport by “taking the pledge” at and promising to take one new person fishing each year.

In addition to their commitment to help spread the word, NPAA plans to make the simple and powerful Anglers’ Legacy message a focal point for upcoming NPAA events. This will include onsite angler recruitment activities at the final day of the four regular season FLW Walleye Tour events.

Miami-Keys team wins offshore classic

Weez in the Keys took the lead on day one of the third annual Outdoor Channel Offshore Classic and never looked back to win the two-day sailfish tournament with a total of 10 releases.

With Capt. David Morris of Miami at the helm, the team of Matt Grynewicz of Key Largo, Fla., Scott Robins of Miami Beach, Taylor Walsh of Miami and Justin Baker of Islamorada released five sails on each fishing day. The win earned the team an invitation to the 2008 IGFA Offshore World Championship, to be held in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Second place went to Class Action, with Capt. Sam Milazzo of Islamorada at the helm. Steve Michels of Portland, Ore., Carl Flemons of Washington, D.C., and Jim Sifers, of Waco, Texas, released seven sailfish. Flemons, fishing from a wheelchair due to a spinal injury, and Sifers were first-time sailfish anglers.

Kalex, with Capt. Alex Adler of Islamorada at the helm, took third place. Adler led Randy Russell, Butch English, Ben Maki, Tommy Tormohlen — all of Austin, Texas — to seven sailfish releases, but lost to Class Action on time.

The Outdoor Channel is to broadcast its coverage of the tournament during the first week of April on the network’s “World Class Sport Fishing” show.

There were 113 hook-ups called in during the tournament, with 81 sailfish released. Eighty anglers fished from 21 boats. Seven of the teams were composed of disabled veterans sponsored by the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Frank Peterson Jr. named RBFF president

The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation named Frank Peterson Jr. as the organization’s new president and chief executive officer. In his new role Peterson will manage all aspects of RBFF operations and assume responsibility for meeting the strategic goals set by RBFF leadership.

Peterson brings to RBFF more than 20 years of leadership and business development expertise with both non-profit and for-profit organizations.

“Maximizing the value and usage of RBFF’s programs and products is my top priority,” Peterson says. “I love boating and fishing and look forward to making sure we achieve success.”

Prior to joining RBFF, Peterson was a vice president and general manager for Marketing General Incorporated — one of North America’s largest marketing and direct response agencies — where he provided strategic planning, vision, leadership and business development for MGI’s Media Sales Division, including list management and brokerage, advertising and media sales. He has been the founder and president of two very successful companies: Catalyst Communications and The Peterson Group. He also worked at ExxonMobil, where he held a variety of management positions from managing a sales force to developing new products and services for customers. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from PepperdineUniversity and a bachelor’s degree in history and education from MercyCollege.

Peterson succeeds Bruce Matthews, who joined RBFF in 1999 as the organization’s founding president and CEO. During Matthews’ tenure, RBFF successfully launched the Take Me Fishing campaign targeted to occasional and lapsed anglers and the Anglers’ Legacy program that encourages avid anglers to take someone new fishing.