British Angler Wins Golden Fly Tournament in Islamorada
ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — Fly angler Mark Richens of Nottinghamshire, England, and Islamorada, Fla., took top honors in the three-day Golden Fly Invitational Tarpon Tournament that ended May 23 in Islamorada.
Richens and his guide, Captain Jared Rascob of Tavernier, Fla., took the lead on day one, catching one weight fish with four releases. They maintained their position during day two with three more releases. Richens’ one weight fish and four releases on the last day moved him into the winner’s circle on time with a total of 11 releases and two weight fish.
Each angler in this tournament is allowed to “strap out” (measure the tarpon’s girth using a strap) five fish, and release fish only count toward a win when a weight fish is caught. Tarpon must be 70 pounds to qualify as a weight fish.
The tournament’s first runner-up was Steve Ward of Coppell, Texas, guided by Captain Rick Murphy. His two weight fish and 11 releases were good for a tight second place.
Fellow Texan Greg Smith of Laguna Vista landed the tournament’s Billy Pate Memorial Largest Tarpon award with a 147.5-pound fish.
Second runner-up with two weight fish was Roger Fernandez of Pinecrest, Fla., guided by Captain Eric Herstedt of Marathon, Fla.
A total of 45 tarpon were released and 14 weight fish logged. A field of 22 angler-and-guide teams competed.
The 2013 Outback Golden Fly Tarpon Tournament is set for May 19-22.