Mike Gallops and Jared Raskob had different strategies in accomplishing their goals in winning the light tackle and fly divisions respectively at the Florida Keys Outfitters/ International Game Fish Association Inshore World Championship in Islamorada, Fla., USA, July 7- 9.
In the fly division, Raskob of Key Largo, Fla., held the lead from start to finish focusing his scoring of points of the five targeted species - bonefish, tarpon, permit, snook and redfish. Despite not catching a permit, deemed the hardest fish to entice on a fly, Raskob accumulated a total of 1950 points. With the help of his guide Capt. Dave Borras he had three bountiful days breaking further away from his fly competitors with rounds of scores of 575, 650 and 725 points.
They had correctly predicted that his 15 competitors in the division would have the same trouble he had of getting the slam of five fish, especially the tight-jawed permit. The only contestant to release a permit on fly was Alex Cruz of Miami and it was his only fish of the contest caught on the final day.
For Gallops in the light tackle divsion, who won the championship in 2003, his goal was completing slams by catching all five species, considered just a bit easier using bait. His biggest day came on Day 2 when Capt. Larry Sydnor put him onto catches and releases of seven fish among four species. Now with one slam completed on a permit caught the first day, Gallops needed one more to complete a second slam. He did by catching a permit on Day 3, and added a third permit for added points or a chance at a third slam.
Finishing second by completing one slam in the light tackle division was Tony Pruitt, Naples, Fla., teamed with guide Capt. Rob Fordyce. In third was Nick Cardella, Delray Beach, Fla., guided by Capt. Frank Ortiz.
Two Houston, Texas competitors, Charles Duncan, III and Rand Holstead,took second and third in the fly division. Duncan was guided by Capt. John Donnell and Holstead by Capt. Andy Thompson.
The field of 32 top anglers-- 16 in fly and 16 in light tackle -- were invited to compete in the all-release championship after winning in a variety of 36 qualifying tournaments held across the U.S., the Bahamas and Australia in 2008.
From a drawing the champion qualifiers were paired with a premier Keys guide, fishing as a team for the three days.
In an interview with Bill Kelly, host of The Friday Night Radio Show on WKEZ-FM in the Florida Keys, Duncan and Rand emphasized the quality of the guides and how much everyone enjoyed the single guide format as compared to a different one each day.
"It helped in the strategy of the event and the development of the relationship between angler and guide," said Duncan.
On the same show tournament director Sandy Moret, owner of Florida Keys Outfitters smiled and said, "This ninth annual tournament promised to be one of the most outstanding competitions of the year, and it was. The on-site logistics and hospitality of the staff at the Bayside Marina and Islamorada Fish Co. which is part of World Wide Sportsman was fantastic. We're looking ahead to next year when we'll have more international competitors."
The championship events will be featured on a future ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Series cablecast on ESPN2. Highlights of each day are also featured on ESPNOutdoors.com.
For more information on the FKO/IGFA Inshore World Championship and the event's qualifying tournaments contact Moret at 305-664-5423 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the web site at inshoreworldchampionships.com .
Place / Angler / Guide
1st- Jared Raskob Key Largo, Fla., Dave Borras
2nd- Charles Duncan III, Houston, Texas, John Donnell
3rd- Rand Holdstead, Houston, Texas, Andy Thompson
Light Tackle Winners
Place / Angler / Guide
1st- Mike Gallops, Naples, Fla., Larry Sydnor
2nd- Troy Pruitt, Naples, Fla., Rob Fordyce
3rd- Nick Cardella, Delray Beach, Fla., Frank Ortiz