Under fair skies and almost calm seas 59 anglers boarded 24 boats on June 10th for the Florida Keys Elks Lodge’s 9th Annual Ladies Dolphin Tournament presented by Island Arms and Indoor Range.
The combined weight of three fish would determine the winners, in this one day fishing event. Prizes packages and trophies were awarded to the top 10 teams.
When the weigh scales closed at 5PM on Saturday, Captain Eddy Cabrera and mate Cole Tristran fishing aboard the Angler Eddy’s, would lead their anglers to victory. Anglers Pam Simon, Jessica Ball, Payton Sujat and Maegan Cabrera all from Tavernier, FL would weigh fish of 5.7, 5.8 and 9.7 pounds for a combined weight of 21.2 to win by only 12 minutes. First place tiaras and trophies, sponsored by Townsend Plumbing, were awarded to the winners along with a large travel bag full of valuable prizes from local merchants and a check for $3,000.00. Captain Eddy received a Pasta print framed by DeClue’s frame shop and Mate Cole took home a brand new fishing rod and reel. Jessica’s 9.7 pound dolphin would be the biggest fish of the tournament winning her $1,000.00 and a beautiful pendant from DePaula Jewelers.
Smile Maker, who weighed in just 12 minutes later with a total of 21.2 pounds, would take second place on time. Captain Bill Sullivan with mate Zachary Sullivan fishing anglers, Jennifer and Brianna Sullivan all from Naples, FL would weigh fish of 8.9, 5.6 and 5.7 pounds, winning trophies sponsored by Miller Recreation. The team took home a travel bag full of items donated by local businesses, plus a check for $1,500.00
Captain Sam Allison aboard the Sam’s S_its would lead anglers Jolene Allison and Christina Veath both from Tavernier, to the New England Wealth Management third place awards. The ladies weighed fish of 9.6, 4.9 and 4.8 pounds for a total 19.3 pounds. They would take home a bag full of goodies and a check for $1,000.00 and as story to tell. While they were catching schoolie dolphin a Swordfish of approximately 200+ pounds ate one of the schoolies. The
Swordfish immediately sounded and the team broke him off.
Top Junior angler, 15 year old Natalia Hortensi fishing with Captain Jordi Hortensi on the Islamorada Spearfish Adventure, weighed in a 4.7 pounder to take home the David Wirth circle hook trophy and a stunning tiara.
Susan Miller and Elizabeth Kecskes from Key Largo FL fishing with their friend Ashley Fernandez of Miami, FL took home 4th place for the Waffle Crappers, with 16.7 pounds.
5th place anglers the Bayside Babes from Key Largo, FL Beth Beligan, Loretta Dettmann and Vivianne Wicker weighed in a total of 16.6 pounds.
Natural II angler Anna Vidaurri from Naples, FL weighed three fish for a total of 16.3 pounds to win 6th place.
7th place went to Ca-Ching. Anglers Jenny Baretto and Natasha Quesada from Miami FL weighed in 14.4 pound of Mahi.
8th and 9th place would also be a tie. Anglers Mary Houston from Islamorada Fl, Sherry Goodwin from Key Largo, FL along with Stephanie Townsend and Gloria Guinta of Tavernier, FL, would weigh three fish at 4:02 totaling 13.9 pounds taking 8th place on time. Donna, Skylynn, Ariana, and Seanna Lindback all from Tavernier, FL fishing aboard the Tiki weighed in at 4:35 with exactly 13.9 pounds of Dolphin. Ties are broken on time of weigh in so the Tiki landed in 9th place.
The 10th place team, Day Dreamer weighed a total of 13.4 pounds for anglers Alyssa Webb of Key Largo, FL and Alissa Keiler from Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
The tournament kicked off with passed hors d'oeuvres, a boat load of shrimp from Shrimp Improvement Systems and other appetizers at the Florida Keys Elks Lodge on Friday.
The Saturday awards ceremony was fit for the Queens of the fishing world.
“It was great to be able to fill our top 10 winner’s bags with such wonderful items from business throughout the Upper Keys” stated tournament director Dianne Harbaugh. “The Elks have such worthy charities that this event will help to support including scholarships and a summer camp for local students. The success of this event was the result of a lot of hard work from a great team of people who all came together and put on a tremendous show.”
A cooler full of booze was awarded to the lucky raffle ticket holder and the evening concluded with a silent auction, which was once again filled with items from our great community.
The Elks Lodge is looking forward to a bigger and better event next year. If you would like to become a member or for more information on the Elks and the charities they support visit the web site at www.floridakeyselks.com or stop by at mile marker 92.6 on the bayside.