Close Call dominates in
6th Annual Islamorada Dolphin Tournament
The Islamorada Charter Boat Association’s
6th Annual Islamorada Dolphin Tournament hosted 61 anglers, in the quest for 3 big fish on July 12th and 13th 2014.
“This tournament has a unique format” stated tournament director Dianne Harbaugh. “The boats enter as teams
with the combined weight of three Dolphin determining the winners. Only two fish can be weighed per day but it takes
three to win.” After the first day of weigh-ins at Smuggler’s Cove the Close Call with Captain Scott Stoky
at the helm and anglers Randy Hamilton of Montgomery, Alabama and Brett Corley of Key Largo, Florida were in the lead with
the team’s two fish a 40.2 and 24.9 for a total of 65.1 pounds. Close on their heels was the Hey Papa with two
fish weighed in totaling 57.5 pounds.
Going back to the same area where they had found the big ones on
day one, the Close Call would find two more nice fish weighing 30.6 and 23.3 pounds. Per the tournament rules the weight
of the smallest fish was thrown out and the team took home a first place victory with a total of 95.7 pounds combined weight
of their three biggest Dolphin. Close Call also landed the biggest fish of the tournament netting them a free mount from King
Sailfish Taxidermy and the $1000.00 prize for the largest fish on an outboard boat sponsored by Caribee Boat Sales and Yamaha
Outboards. In total they took home a check for $7,400.00, a beautiful King Sailfish Mount first place trophy sponsored
by Mercedes Benz of Cutler Bay, a Pasta Pantaleo print, and a bucket full of prizes totaling over $1,200.00 from local
businesses in the Islamorada area.
Captain Justin Matson’s team fishing aboard the charter boat
Hey Papa weighed in two fish of 32.5 and 25.0 pounds on the first day. Anglers Chris Eckert from Islamorada, FL, Zach
Bennett, Fred and Justin Matson all from Tavernier, FL and Tommy King from Key Largo FL would find a couple of nice fish on
the second day and weigh in a 24.1, and 19.2. The combined weight of their top three would be 81.6 pounds. The team
took home the second place trophy sponsored by Mangrove Mike’s Café. They also received a check for $2250.00,
an E-Sea Rider bean bag chair, rod and reel combo and other great prizes.
On the first day Rezkills’ captain Mike
Walker would keep his anglers in the hunt and close on the heels of the Hey Papa with two fish weighing 30.2 and 26.3 for
a one day combined weight of 56.5 pounds. Weighing in just 21 minutes after Hey Papa on the second day, the team weighed
25.1 and 24.0 pound fish. The combined weight of the teams three biggest was and amazing 81.6 pounds, tying the Hey Papa’s
total. Strictly on time the team came in third place. Anglers Kevin Smith and Andre LimSang of Miami, FL. were
awarded a check for $1,350.00, a beautiful King Sailfish trophy, sponsored by Tackle Center of Islamorada, gift certificates
from local businesses and other fishing goodies.
The Hey Papa would weigh in the only Wahoo of the tournament and be awarded the Pasta Pantaleo print
for the largest Wahoo.
Overall 49 fish were
weighed in. There were 24 cows and 25 bulls. The average weight of the fish weighed in was 18 pounds. “We
had the best weather ever” commented tournament director Dianne Harbaugh. “With the super moon on July 12th anglers
were concerned that the fish might not bite. That did not seem to be the case. Our host facality Smugglers Cove Restaurant,
Resort and Marina did a fantastic job for us.” The Islamorada Charter Boat Association would like to thank all
involved for helping to support fishing in the Fabulous Florida Keys!