Anglers came from all over Florida to compete in the non intimidating LLGF Fishing Screamin’ Reels tournament June 11-13 in Islamorada, FL. Hosted by the nonprofit Ladies Let’s Go Fishing Foundation, the tournament offered a kickoff event, easy rules for beginners and two days of inshore or offshore fishing. 225 fish were caught by 26 participants fishing from nine offshore and inshore boats. Men were welcome to participate.
Prizes for the two-day tournament were awarded to individual anglers, including Penn rod/reel combos, art prints and other fishing items with a total value of $1800. Winners were:
Top Offshore: Debbie Decker, Rotunda West, FL, Red Grouper on Costa Morada with Capt. Claude Tristram
Second Place Offshore: Anabelle Goulart, Belle Isle, FL, Mutton Snapper on Costa Morada with Capt. Claude Tristram
Top Inshore: Linda Harrell, Oakland Park, FL, Trout on Scales 2 Tales with Capt. Chris Hanson
Second Place Inshore: Paul Doehring, Naples, FL, Sea Trout on Scales 2 Tales with Capt. Chris Hanson
Junior Angler: Anabelle Goulart, Belle Isle, FL, Mutton Snapper on Costa Morada with Capt. Claude Tristram
Daily prizes went to Debbie Decker for her red grouper and Anabelle Goulart for her mutton snapper.
Many ladies caught their first fish species ever, with several also entering their catches in the CCA Florida STAR tournament to vie for additional awards from the Coastal Conservation Association.
Featured on national network television and more, the series is supported by major partners including Recreational Fishing and Boating Foundation, Take Me Fishing, Vamos a Pescar, Mercury, Magic Tilt trailers, Shearwater Boats, Power-Pole, Penn, TACO Metals, Lowrance and Fish Florida. Largest Annual Sponsors are Freedom Boat Club, ICOM, CCA Florida STAR, Bob’s Machine Shop, AFTCO, Costa, Smith Optics, Frogg Toggs, Hubbards Marina, Star Brite and Future Angler Foundation. Local sponsors include Breezy Palms Resort and the Monroe County Tourist Development Council. Class-specific contributors are listed on the website.
Remaining 2021 LLGF events, with fishing, include:
Oct. 15-17 Keys Saltwater Weekend Seminar and fishing, Islamorada, FL
Oct. 15-16 Guy Harvey Outpost Bass Seminar & Tournament, Camp Mack, Lake Wales, Fl
Nov. 20-21 St. Augustine Surf Fishing Academy at Guy Harvey Ocean Resort
Bimini Bahamas TBA
Virtual meetings TBA
Fishing Reports (fish caught and/or released) below:
Saturday Full Day Offshore:
Costa Morada, Capt. Claude Tristram: Total of 36 fish including 12 keepers. There were nine legal small mahi caught in 500 ft. depth, with a nice school caught near a piece of floating plastic. A 9.93 lb. red grouper caught by Debra Decker, Rotunda West, FL earned the top place offshore award. Winning second place offshore and top junior angler was a 5.96 lb. mutton snapper landed by Anabelle Goulart, Belle Isle, FL.
First Choice, Capt. Larry Wren: Total of 17 fish with eight keepers. Seven keeper mahi ranged up to 5.5 lbs. They also caught a 14 lb. tilefish with an electric reel which did not count.
Sea Horse, Capt. Rick Rodriguez: Total of six fish caught and two small mahi keepers. They went 31 miles offshore and fished up to 1800 ft. in depth to look for the big ones.
Scales 2 Tales, Capt. Chris Hanson: Total of 38 fish including four keeper trout and some legal mangrove snapper. Linda Harrell, Oakland Park, FL clinched first place inshore with a 17.5 inch sea trout. Paul Doehring, Naples FL won second place inshore with his 16 inch sea trout. Three snook up to 22 inches were released.
Marlin Darlin, Capt. Jeanne Towne: One small keeper mahi.
Sunday 3/4 Day Offshore:
Costa Morada, Capt. Claude Tristram: Total of 36 fish including 16 small keeper mahis. The ladies were entertained by dolphin leaping out of the water on the way back. They enjoyed having Capt. Skip Bradeen as their mate.
Sea Horse, Capt. Rick Rodriguez: Total of 71 fish including ten small keeper mahis and a small blackfin tuna.
Marlin Darlin, Capt. Jeanne Towne: Two small keeper mahis.
Capt. Chris Hanson, Scales 2 Tales: Total of 41 fish with eight keeper mangrove snappers up to 14 inches. A busy day for the anglers!
Fishing overall: Inshore was constant action, with releases for snook up to 25 inches, sea trout and some large mangrove snappers. As snook were not in season, first and second place were won by trout catches. For offshore, seas were flat making for a nice ride. Saturday fishing was challenging with scattered weeds and many boats fishing. Boats had to get lucky to find birds or debris. Mahi schoolies were sparse and mahi were selective on what they would bite on. On Sunday everything changed. There were huge weed patches and the fish fired up.