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Fishing Notes

Snook, redfish the prey at Take Stock challenge

Anglers fished night and day for trophy-size snook and redfish to determine six division winners at the 2007 Take Stock in Children Backcountry Challenge, which ended Oct. 14.

For the second year in a row Jared Rascob of Key Largo won the adult snook division with a 34-inch fish. Kim VanCampen of Williamsport, Pa., was runner-up with a 32-inch fish. Brett Ayleshire of Miami took third place with a 31.5-inch snook.

Rascob also won the adult redfish division with a 30-inch red. Carl Swenson of Islamorada, Fla., and Carlos Sardinas of Tavernier, Fla., won second and third prizes with fish that measured 28 inches and 27 inches, respectively.

The pro division winner, determined by combined length of one snook and one redfish, was Mike Makowski of Key Largo with fish totaling 64 inches.

Isabella Garcia of Key Largo won the award for ladies’ most outstanding catch with a 28.75-inch snook.

The youth division, with winners also determined by combining the length of one snook and one redfish, was won by 16-year-old Donnie Benbow of Islamorada whose fish had a combined length of 35 inches. First- and second-place winners of the kids’ division were Key Largo residents Daniel Singleton, 13, and Brent Glascock, 10, with 33-inch and 31-inch snook, respectively.

Top guide at the tournament was Capt. Ted Benbow of Islamorada.

The tournament benefits Take Stock in Children, a statewide scholarship program that awards Florida Prepaid scholarships for four years to economically disadvantaged seventh-grade students who meet the program’s academic and behavioral criteria.

Local takes top honors at Islamorada All-Tackle

Jim Trice of Islamorada won the grand champion title and the general division champion title at the 41st annual Bonefishing World Championship Islamorada All-Tackle Bonefish Tournament, which ended Oct. 12.

Trice, a board member of the Don Hawley Foundation that supports fishing Captains in need, scored four releases — three on bait and one on spin tackle — and five weight fish for a total of 4,250 points. Trice fished with Capt. Tad Burke of Islamorada.

“We were very lucky and had great chemistry,” Trice said. “Every time we caught a bonefish, we thanked God.”

Winning the championship means Trice and Burke’s names will be inscribed on the tournament’s perpetual trophy.

Frank Delucas of Plantation, Fla., was runner-up grand champion with 3,800 points. He fished with Capt. Mark Krowka of Davie, Fla., scoring 28 releases and three weight fish. Delucas also won the award for most release points.

Author and columnist Carl Hiaasen of Vero Beach, Fla., was the tournament’s fly division champion. He scored two weight fish on fly and nine releases on fly while fishing with Capt. Tim Klein of Islamorada.

The largest fish award went to Tom Siska of Saddlebrook, N.J., for a bonefish weighing 11 pounds, 4 ounces. Siska, who was also named high point out-of-state angler, fished with Capt. Duane Baker of Islamorada.

The tournament’s award for the largest permit went to Jeff Bloodworth of Grayson, Ga., with a 34.5-inch fish. He fished with Capt. George Wood.

High-point first-time angler was Thane Morgan of Amarillo, Texas High-point first-time guide was Capt. Chuck Schafstall of Islamorada. Eighty-one bonefish were scored as releases (under 7 pounds). Twenty-three bones were entered as weight fish of more than 7 pounds.

IGFA Auction & Banquet returns with New Year

Reservations are under way for the 24th Annual IGFA Auction & Banquet on Jan. 25 at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla.

IGFA’s most anticipated fundraiser with hundreds of live and silent auction items up for bid includes a silent auction, cocktail party, exquisite dinner and auction.

The night will also feature the presentation of the IGFA Conservation Awards. Renowned marine artist Dave Baroncelli is the event’s featured artist.

Other donations have begun arriving at IGFA headquarters, including an original sculpture by artist David Wirth, a week for two at the Tropic Star Lodge, a fishing trip in the Indian Himalayas, a fishing trip to Guinea Bissau, and fishing charters, rods and reels, tackle, jewelry, international resorts.

For information, contact Lesley Arico at (954) 924-4222 or e-mail

Small anglers to target big fish

In one upcoming tournament it won’t be unusual to hear of sailfish weighing more than the anglers who catch them. That’s part of the fun that goes along with the 43rd annual Islamorada Junior Sailfish Tournament, an all-release event geared for anglers age 16 and younger.

The action is set for Dec. 14-16, at Holiday Isle Resort & Marina, Mile Marker 84 in Islamorada. Individual and boat prizes are to be awarded, but every angler wins a trophy. One of the top four anglers could win $25,000 for a college fund.

Entry fee is $100 per angler, with a maximum of four anglers allowed per boat. For information, contact tournament director Tammie Gurgiolo at (305) 852-9337.