The Main Attraction team out of Key Colony Beach, Fla., won the $25,000 first prize at the 11th annual Leon Shell Memorial Sailfish Tournament that ended March 1.
The victory marks the third consecutive year that one of the three Main Attraction boats has won. Main Attraction II won the 2007 and 2008 tournaments, making tournament history with its repeat victory.
In the 2009 tournament, with Marathon’s Captain Marty Lewis at the helm, the Main Attraction team released five sails. Anglers were Max Gray and Robert Griffin of Charlotte, N.C., Fred Bumgardner Jr. of Denver, N.C., James Snyder and Peter Bernard of Richmond, Va., R. Edward Howell of Charlottesville, Va., Tom Adams of Pinehurst, N.C., and Dick Crittenden from Alpena, Mich.
Second place went to the Imagine That team, led by Captain Ray Eggert of Ramrod Key, Fla., for releasing four sailfish. Teammates were Eggert’s son Dan Eggert and grandson Ray Eggert as well as Jeff Swopek and John Messenger, all from Ramrod Key.
Third place went to the Main Attraction III team, led by Key Colony Beach Captain Morris Lewis, Marty Lewis’s father, with three sailfish releases. The anglers were Susan Manios, Deborah Shirley and R. Dion Watson, all of Marathon, and Richard Jeselskis of Big Pine Key, Fla.
Champion individual angler was Randy Hamilton for his two sailfish releases.
The largest kingfish, 18.7 pounds, was caught by Dan Eggert aboard Imagine That. The champion dolphin was 17.1 pounds, brought in by Ed Jekielek aboard a Vacation Boat Rentals boat.
A field of 66 anglers fished the tournament from 20 boats.
Lois Shell, widow of Captain Leon Shell, for whom the tournament is named, presented a check for $25,000 to Hospice and Visiting Nurses Association of the Florida Keys.