Fishing Notes

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Miami skipper winssailfish championship

Capt. Ray Rosher’s Get Lit team captured the top $100,000 prize at the World Sailfish Championship that ended April 19 in the Florida Keys.

Rosher added five sailfish releases on Day 3 to the nine releases his team had posted during the first two days of action. But after noon, the action dried up, and all Miami anglers Christopher “Kitt” Toomey, Jon Cooper, Peter Miller, Claudio Martinez and Kelly Mayo could do was wait.

Only when Rosher got a congratulatory call from Greg Graham, captain of the Steel Magnolia team that was Get Lit’s closest competitor, did they allow themselves to believe they’d won the tournament.

“We all high-fived and enjoyed the ride home,” said Rosher, who admitted the hours between his team’s final release and Graham’s call were characterized by “lots of anxiety.”

Rosher, who said the sails were all caught on a mixture that was mostly goggle eyes and threadfin, credited the win to the team’s longtime fishing partnership and ability to capitalize on every bite.

The World Sailfish Championship drew a field of 110 boats, according to tournament director Mike Weinhofer. Participating anglers released a tournament record of 538 sailfish.

Atlanta angler wins bonefish tourney

Jeff Bloodworth of Atlanta finished two strong days of bonefishing to capture grand champion honors at the 2007 Islamorada All-Tackle Spring Bonefish Tournament March 28 to 30.

Fishing with Captain George Wood of Islamorada, Bloodworth trailed eventual second-place finisher Harvey Karen of Wall, N.J., by more than 900 points after the first day of fishing. But on the second and third days of the three-day tournament, Bloodworth scored 816 and 1,100 points, respectively, to win by 481 points.

Bloodworth also caught the largest bonefish in the tournament. The fish weighed in at 12.8 pounds. She fished with Captain Andy Thompson of Homestead, Fla.

Third place went to Lloyd Wruble of Miami. Fishing with Captain Dave Denkert of Tavernier, Fla., Wruble also took home the trophy for high-point first-time angler.

The largest permit was caught by Chris Arader of Conshohoken, Pa. Fishing with Captain Jim Wilcox of Islamorada, Arader, released a 30-inch-long permit.

A total of 19 anglers fished the all-

release tournament, scoring 15 weight fish (minimum 8 pounds) and 19 releases.

More than $36,000 at stake in dolphin tourney

Anglers targeting dolphin can also “catch” cash prizes and awards totaling more than $36,000 in the 14th annual Big Pine and Lower Keys Dolphin Tournament.

Set for June 15 to 17, the tournament is presented by the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce. Events are to be headquartered at the Sugarloaf Key Resort KOA at Mile Marker (MM) 20 oceanside on Sugarloaf Key.

The first 330 registered anglers are eligible to win a $25,000 cash prize for weighing in the heaviest dolphin over 55 pounds.

In the tournament’s open division, a cash prize of $3,400 awaits the angler who catches the heaviest dolphin. Second prize is $1,700, and cash prizes are to be awarded through 10th place.

Prizes in the youth division, for anglers age 15 and under, include fishing rods and trophies awarded through third place.

While dolphin is the only species of fish eligible for cash awards, other prizes await entrants who catch the largest wahoo and tuna. The tournament’s top three female anglers are to receive cash and prizes.

Entry fees are $150 per angler in the open division and $50 per angler in the youth division. Admission to the awards dinner and other tournament social events is included in the entry fee. Additional social passes can be purchased for $20 per person for adults and $15 per person for youngsters 15 years old or younger.

Proceeds from the tournament benefit the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce.

New billfish tourney at Bitter End

The Bitter End Yacht Club resort will host the inaugural A.H. Riise BVI Billfish Tournament from July 31 to Aug. 4.

The catch-and-release event for blue marlin will be presented by the Government of the British Virgin Islands and A.H. Riise. Organizers say the tournament promises great fishing, uncomplicated rules, a world-class resort, and an abundance of social activities, special entertainment and hospitality. Fishing will take place in the territorial waters of the BVI at the “North Drop,” which is a short 12 miles from Virgin Gorda.

The tournament has already been designated a qualifier for the IGFA Offshore Championship in 2008. It will be coordinated by Al Behrendt Enterprises, which also manages the successful Bahamas Billfish Championship for the past 25 years. Proceeds from the event will go toward local charities benefiting the community of the British Virgin Islands. The A.H. Riise BVI Billfish Tournament will include three days of fishing and a lay day, so anglers and their guests can cruise the British Virgin Islands or go shopping in Road Town.

For information about visiting Bitter End Yacht Club, call (800) 872-2392, e-mail binfo@beyc.com or go to www. beyc.com. Details about tournament rules can be found at www.bvibillfishtournament.com , or contact Al Behrendt Enterprises at (954) 920-7877.

Dolphin, tuna tourney heading to Marathon

If the fishing is as good as the food, anglers should be totally satisfied with their entry in the seventh annual Burdine’s Waterfront Dolphin & Blackfin Tuna Tournament set for June 22-24.

The tournament kicks off with a captain’s meeting at Burdine’s Waterfront Restaurant, at the oceanside end of 15th Street in Marathon. Complimentary happy hour hors d’oeuvres and a raffle are to highlight the kick-off party.

Anglers are to fish June 23 and 24. Top prizes of $700, $350 and $200 await individual adult anglers who catch the three heaviest dolphin in the tournament. The top three anglers in the junior division are to be awarded $300, $200 and $100.

Cash awards of $750 are to be awarded for the heaviest blackfin tuna and wahoo in the tournament.

Entry fees are $100 per adult and $50 per junior angler.

An original painting by Joe Suroviec is to be auctioned, with the proceeds going to the Domestic Abuse Shelter of the Florida Keys.

For more information call (305) 743-5317 or e-mail bwfront5@bellsouth.net .