Local Capt. Charlie Scoble is back in the saddle again. It was a tight battle during the series that started with the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament, which led to a second-place finish for the Tackle Center in December.
The series continued at the Islamorada Fishing Club’s Captain Cup Sailfish Tournament and concluded at the Cheeca Lodge and Spa Presidential Sailfish Tournament. Scoble would lead local anglers Donny and Brad Lange along with Fritz Zeher and Jeffery Dickman to victory in the series. The team released nine fish in the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament and two in the Islamorada Fishing Club tournament. With the help of mate/angler Travis Butters, the team released six fish to conclude the trifecta by winning the Cheeca Lodge Tournament.
Lange, owner of Tackle Center of Islamorada, proudly hoisted the perpetual Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish trophy, which will be displayed at his store. The team took home Caribee Boat Sales and Yamaha Outboards sponsored gold cups, trophies for the captain and mate along with a check for $23,000.
Team Contagious anglers Mark Mitchell and Kenneth Padgett, both from Charleston, North Carolina, Travis Bennett and Andy Cone, from Tavernier, and Greg Tolpin, from Key Largo, would take second-place honors with a team total of 15 fish. The Contagious won the first leg of the series with 11 releases. Their luck did not hold in the Islamorada Fishing Club’s one-day tournament where they were unable to find any sails. Capt. Brian Cone along with mates Sean O’Donnell and Justin Matson rebounded in the Cheeca tournament with four releases. The team received Gold Cup trophies and a check for $10,000.
Hell Reyzer would pressure the teams throughout the series. Capt. Ryan Alexander kept anglers Rey Acosta, Eric Darvill, Victor Paneda, all from Miami, fishing with Eric Juan (Johnny) Vilorio and Cap Hinckley, from Cutler Bay, in the hunt. The team released four sails in the first leg. They would find their groove and win the Islamorada Fishing Club’s Captains Cup Tournament with five releases and finish off the series at the Cheeca Tournament in second with six releases on time. The team would take home Gold Cup trophies and a check for $7,000.
It would be a close battle for the much sought after High Point Angler Championship Ring sponsored by Tackle Center of Islamorada. Bennett, a local dentist in Key Largo, would start on top with five releases in the first tournament. Juan Vilorio, aboard the Hell Reyzer, would be tied with him after the Fishing Club tournament with five releases. In the end, it would be angler Robert Richardson Sr., from McKinney, Texas, aboard the Yabba Dabba Doo with Capt. James Hagen at the helm that would bring home the championship ring with a total of nine releases. Although many others have won the ring, Richardson Sr. will be the series only four-time champion angler.
In total, 165 sailfish were released by the 113 anglers participating in this season’s event. The Florida Keys Gold Cup Championship Series is a fundraiser for the Islamorada Charter Boat Association. The series would like to thank the major sponsors, Caribee Boat Sales, Yamaha Outboards, Tackle Center of Islamorada and Mangrove Mike’s Cafe for their continued support.
The hosts of the events included Whale Harbor Restaurants and Marina, Cheeca Lodge and Spa and the Islamorada Fishing Club. The series will be kicking off again next year with the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament Dec. 2, 2021. For more information on the series contact Dianne Harbaugh at (305) 852-2102 or visit us on the web www.islamoradasailfishtournament.com