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Big Pine Key anglers sweep dolphin tournament awards

Steve Krieger of Big Pine Key took first place in the 14th annual Big Pine and Lower Keys Dolphin Tournament that ended June 17.

June 19, 2007
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Steve Krieger of Big Pine Key took first place in the 14th annual Big Pine and Lower Keys Dolphin Tournament that ended June 17.

Krieger, who fished aboard the Finer Lines with Captain Jay Kent of Big Pine, earned the top spot and $3,400 for a dolphin weighing 42.7 pounds.

“We were 20 miles out at Wood’s Wall, and we started trolling a little bit and we hooked right up before we even had all the lines in the water,” said Krieger, referencing a popular Keys fishing spot.

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He caught the dolphin at the beginning of the tournament’s first of two fishing days in approximately 1,100 feet of water. A second dolphin was hooked at the same time, but ultimately got away.

Krieger’s 2007 victory wasn’t his first time to place in the annual dolphin challenge. In 2006, he took second place by weighing in a 40.25-pound catch.

Second place in the 2007 event went to Teague Skaggs of Big Pine Key, who brought in a 33.25-pound dolphin while fishing aboard the Loan Shark guided by Captain Thomas Marvel of Big PIne. Skaggs took home $1,700.

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Big Pine angler Wade Graft, skippering the boat Hornet, placed third. His dolphin weighed 28.5 pounds and earned him $850.

The tournament’s top female angler was Jeannie Johnson of Summerland Key, Fla. She caught a 24.55-pound dolphin while fishing on the Double J.

Additional prizes were awarded to the anglers who caught the largest wahoo and tuna. David Everett of Key West, Fla., was recognized for a wahoo weighing 37.45 pounds, while Gordon Friss-Pettih of Big Pine took top tuna honors for his 27.55-pounder.

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The tournament drew 202 anglers fishing on 71 boats.

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