a group of people standing next to each other

Captain Brad Picariello of Marathon led three of his anglers aboard Outlaw to winning spots during Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys’ annual Mother’s Day Dolphin Tournament on May 11, presented by Liechty Marine of Marathon. The 18th iteration of “Fishing For a Cause” treated 129 anglers aboard 33 boats to “the best weather day in our history,” said Habitat Middle Keys executive director Chris Todd Young.

Kristy Yeider of Marathon earned the top lady angler award – and the largest-in-tournament honors – for her 27.8-pound dolphin fish, taking home $1,250 in cash. Picariello’s son, Luca, a Marathon eighth-grade student, was named top junior angler for his 15.5-pounder and won $250.

Also on board the lucky Outlaw was Trisha Hopp of Key West, winning $500 as the second-place lady angler with her 16.3-pound dolphin fish.

Marathon resident Mike Sessler earned first place in the Weekend Warrior category with a 26-pounder, claiming a $2,000 cash prize.

Timothy Hayes of Duck Key took the top spot in the pro category, earning $2,000 for his 16.4-pound dolphin fish.

The tournament is a leading fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys’ projects and programs. Proceeds from the 2024 event netted $60,000 to be used toward the build costs of Bell Haven, Habitat’s most recent Middle Keys build that celebrated its dedication for 10 new homeowners on April 28.

a group of people standing next to each other
Alex Rickert
Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.