ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — Captain J.C. Cleare led his team Olympic Gold to the $25,000 championship at the Islamorada Fishing Club’s Sailfish Tournament that ended Jan. 26, the last of three Gold Cup Series events in Islamorada.
Reggie Rodriguez of Miami and Doug Mientkiewicz of Islamorada fought diligently alongside Miami resident Cleare to score five releases for the win.
Second place went to Bodacious with Islamorada’s Captain David Morris at the helm. Anglers Shay Danzig of Tavernier, Fla., and Islamorada’s Nick Stanczyk landed five sails, but finished the tournament behind Olympic Gold based on time.
Third place in the IFC Sailfish Tournament was awarded to Captain George McElveen of Islamorada and his team aboard the Reel McCoy. After a late double-header, anglers Larry Amoyette of Silver Springs, Fla., and Sean Smith of Fort Lauderdale secured their spot with four releases.
A field of 21 boats released 34 sailfish from 43 hookups during the sailfish challenge.
Taking top overall honors in the three-event Florida Keys Gold Cup Championship series was Team Bodacious. Anglers Alan Wood of Islamorada, Shay Danzig and Nick Stanczyk totaled 32 sailfish releases over the three tournaments — five at the IFC Sailfish, five at the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish tournament with Captain Taylor Walsh at the helm and 22 at the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament while guided by Morris.
The Florida Keys Gold Cup Championship Series is a fundraiser for the Islamorada Charter Boat Association. The 2012 Gold Cup Series competition kicks off with the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament set for Nov. 29 through Dec. 2.