AFTCO’s yearlong Tag/Flag Tournament helps create awareness and participation in tag and release by recognizing conservation-minded anglers and captains. The Atlantic Ocean Captain of the Year trophy was awarded to Paul Ivey and the Atlantic Ocean Angler of the Year trophy went to Stanley Klimek. The Pacific Ocean Captain of the Year trophy went to Daniel Alvarez Florez and the Pacific Ocean Angler of the Year trophy was awarded to Dave Denholm. The AFTCO Tag/Flag Tournament works with The Billfish Foundation tagging program and the National Marine Fisheries Service Cooperative Game Fish Tagging Program. Organizations sponsoring trophies include the American Sportfishing Association, the International Game Fish Association, the National Coalition for Marine Conservation, the Recreational Fishing Alliance and the United Anglers of Southern California.
In the Atlantic, captain awards for the most fish tagged went to (number of fish tagged in parentheses): Dave Noling (100) blue marlin, Paul Ivey (362) white marlin, John Dudas (125) sailfish, Al Anderson (126) bluefin tuna, Keith Winter (9) yellowfin and bigeye tuna. Atlantic angler awards went to Bob Degabrielle (34) blue marlin, Ivan Cadiz (61) white marlin, Brad Watkins (45) sailfish, Bill Cody (8) bluefin tuna and Stanley Klimek (11) yellowfin and bigeye tuna.
In the Pacific, captain awards went to Gene VanderHoek (52) blue and black marlin, Ned Falschlenner (109) striped marlin, Ron Hamlin (394) sailfish, Deana Poe (66) mako and thresher shark. Pacific angler awards went to Paul Bender (16) blue and black marlin, Dave Denholm (99) striped marlin, Thomas J. Hammond (33) sailfish, Keith Poe (66) mako and thresher shark.
Listed below are the anglers who received a commemorative AFTCO Tag/Flag award for tagging at least the minimum number of fish for each species:
Blue marlin (10): Bob Degabrielle, Sam Jennings, George Vink, Hans E. Kraaz, Apiwat Ratanamangcla, James Cleary, Michael Viljoen, Ivan Cadiz.
White marlin (5): Ivan Cadiz, Eric Anderson, Bob Degabrielle, Gregg M. Paley, Rod Ryan, John Bone, Robert Stucker, Jeff Calderone, Peter Calderone, Gary Koch, Philip Wills, Robert Anderson, Richard Richardson Jr., Deidre Bell, Adam Carlis, Hans E. Kraaz, William Love, Albert Miller, Paul Moore, Tina Pisula, Tony Cerase, Sam Clapp, Howard Garcia, George Pisula, George Vink, Mark Albright, Jason Brice, Stephen Jones, Suellen Monk, Lonni Rutt, Eric Ryan, Alberto Sanchez, Shadd Vickery, Tim Wills, James Taylor.
Sailfish (15): Brad Watkins, L. Rowland, John Hundley, Tammy Orgeron, Jeff Segar, George Vink.
Bluefin tuna (5): Bill Cody, Jerry Cohen, Stanley Klimek, Evertt Petrono, Stan Glaskin, Henry Freye, John Warner, Bob Renauld, John Marshall, Cathy Cody.
Yellowfin and bigeye tuna (5): Stanley Klimek, Chris Wilson.
Striped marlin (5): Dave Denholm, Chris Fry, Dick Landfield, Joel Lohr, Jim Ralph, Daniel Verdugo, Ronald Bradley, Robbie McCarthy, Roy Benson, Todd Struyk, Tocarclo Laniado, Don Anderson, Carlos Dominguez, Thomas Izrarry, Richard hamilton, Lynn Jasper, Chris Brown, Robert Pernecky, Mark Brackmann, Joesph Reilly, Rodney Caughman, Chris Lindsay, Henry Potts, Francisco Sola.
Blue and black marlin (3): Paul Bender, Robert Anthony, Michael Tokunaga, Warren Keinath, Richard Gillette, Larry Smith, Rex Crosland, Catherine Hillenbrand, William Jardine, Steve Morse, Ken Aiso, Mark Davis, Kenneth Corday, Segei Devatkin, Larry Dahlberg, Kent Hamill, Tom Mahaffey, George Mahr, Emil mayer, Jeffrey Meyer, Andy Miska, Bruce Neely, Dennis O’Rourke, John Ostenberg, William Urianek, Robert Anthony, Christopher Commander, Cathy Hamill, Karen Hatch, Ellen Kawata, Mark Mahaffey, Dale Rothstein, Michael Stewart, James Stockton, Jr., Terry Threlfall, Randall Ward, Martha Warlaumont.
Sailfish (10): Thomas Hammond, Janet Hammond, Karen Hatch, Thomas Murray, Jr., Howard Bond, George Mahr, Pam Miller, Trey Bailey, Sam Combs, Rodney Defenbraugh, Paul Fredric, Justin McPhail, Dale Piergiovanni, Greg Kelly, William Mullen, Hugh Cottis.
Mako and thresher shark (10): Keith Poe.