Twenty-five anglers competed for the largest tarpon on fly June 20 – 24, 2011 from the Lorelei, Islamorada, Florida Keys. This is the forty-eighth anniversary of the Gold Cup. Tarpon are measured with the weight calculated by a formula. Twenty nine weight fish, a minimum of 70 pounds were caught and released, and 108 tarpon a minimum of 4 feet were also caught and released.
Greg Smith dominated the 2011 tarpon tournament season in Islamorada. He is truly “the tarpon whisperer” based on his victories in all of the major tarpon tournaments; the fact that he won each with three different captains is a testimonial of Greg’s truly impressive angling skills.
The Grand Champion angler is Greg Smith of Laguna Vista, Texas, fishing with Captain Bill Hagen. Greg and Bill caught 5 weight fish and 10 releases for a total of 5605 points. First runner-up angler is Ned Johnson of Charleston, SC fishing with Captain Doug Kilpatrick. Ned caught 3 weight fish and 11 releases for a total of 4706 points. Second runner-up angler is Mike Rioles of Richmond, RI fishing with Captain Mark Krowka, caught 4 weight fish and 1 release for a total of 4331 points. Rioles and Krowka also caught the largest tarpon, 131.2 pounds plus this team was awarded the Best New Angler. The most releases, 11, were caught by Johnson and Kilpatrick. Trophies are sculptures by Roger Fowler. Fowlers work can be seen on his website www.fowlersculpture.com.
Smith & Hagen will have their names engraved on the Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament perpetual trophy on display at the Worldwide Sportsman in Islamorada. They will join such legendary anglers as five-time grand champions Glenn Flutie and Andy Mill, four-time champion Billy Pate, three-time champions Sandy Moret, Eizo Marahashi and Jimmy Bell Jr., and a list of winners that includes baseball great Ted Williams. Hagen will join some of the pioneering guides of backcountry fly fishing whose names are engraved on the trophy, including Jimmy Albright, Cecil Keith, Hank Brown, Nat Ragland, Jack Brothers and Stu Apte.
The 49th Gold Cup tournament will be June 16 – 22, 2012. For more information contact Charlotte Ambrogio 305 664- 2444 or [email protected] by email [email protected] Visit our web site www.goldcuptt.com. The proceeds of this event go to Voices for Children a Monroe County charity.