Sullivan’s Island, SC fly angler Baker Bishop won the Backcountry Fly Championship with Captain Drew Moret in February but never a major tarpon tournament. Baker Bishop fishing with Captain Brian Helms won the Golden Fly Invitational Tarpon Tournament, which took place May 18 – 20.
Despite strong terrible weather conditions on day 2 in the Florida Keys, Bishop and his guide, Captain Brian Helms of Homestead, FL, took the lead on day two catching 3 weight fish. Bishop added one more weight fish and one release on the last day to move into the winners circle.
The tournament’s first runner-up was Rob Luehrs of Riverside, CT, guided by Captain Kris Suplee of Marathon, FL.
Second runner-up was Sam Kaufman of Evergreen, CO, guided by Captain Steve Friedman of Islamorada, FL. Kaufman also caught the largest tarpon,120 pounds, of the tournament.
The Senior Grand Champion was Tony Nobregas of Islamorada, fishing with Capt. Chuck Brodzki of Bozeman, MT.
Total tarpon releases were 34 and total weight fish were 15. A weight fish must be a minimum of 70 pounds, and a release fish must be 48 inches. The Golden Fly Tarpon Tournament provides scholarships to students from the FL Keys. The dates for next year are May 17 -19, 2010.