Frank Delucas of Plantation, Florida, released six tarpon, five permit and a bonefish to finish on top at the Robert James Sales S.L.A.M. Celebrity Tournament on Sunday. The tournament is the first event of the annual Redbone Trilogy that raises money for cystic fibrosis treatment and research.
Delucas also was recognized for catching and releasing the most permit. In addition, he was named top rod angler on the first of the S.L.A.M.s two fishing days after scoring a slam for releasing one of each target species.
Delucas has fished the tournament for six years and credits 2012 victory in great part to the skill and patience of his guide, Captain Mark Krowka of Islamorada.
"Hes the best all-around flats guide there is," Delucas said.
Krowka was named guide to the grand champion angler.
The S.L.A.M. attracted 19 teams that released a total of 39 tarpon, 15 permit and 9 bonefish.
Eleven-year-old William Collier of Atlanta earned the tournament's fly division championship after catching and releasing five tarpon. Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis shortly after birth, the fifth-grade student is a seasoned angler despite his youth.
His greatest tournament challenge, Collier said, was trying to get the fly in the right place when I was casting to the fish. You had to figure out the wind direction.
Collier fished with his father, Cal Collier Jr., who caught a permit and a tarpon. Guided by Captain Justin Rea of Sugarloaf Key, Fla., the father-and-son duo took runner-up honors in the team division.
The team championship went to Jim Bokor Jr. of Buffalo, N.Y., and Eddie Huff of Bristol, Tenn. Fishing with Islamoradas Captain Richard Black, they scored four tarpon, two bonefish and a permit that was the tournaments largest.
The celebrity grand champion and spin/plug division champion was Kevin Dineen, head coach of the National Hockey Leagues Florida Panthers, who lives in Parkland, Fla. Guided by Captain Mark Hlis of Islamorada, he caught two tarpon.
Top female angler was Bonnie Christ of Alexandria, Va., with one permit caught while fishing with Captain Andy Thompson.
The Baybone Celebrity Tournament is next up in the series on October 5 in Key Largo and the Redbone Celebrity Tournament is planned for November 2-4 in Islamorada waters.