Danny Coll almost didn’t fish the Drambuie Key West Marlin Tournament that ended Saturday.
He simply couldn’t find anyone to fish with him on his 35-foot Cabo Express sport-fishing boat dubbed Risky Business.
“Normally, when I fish a tournament, I prepare the boat extremely well,” said Coll, a Cudjoe Key, Fla., real estate investor. “But all the way to early (last) Monday morning, I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to go.”
Fortunately, at the last minute, Coll’s friend Bernard Davis of Big Pine Key, Fla., declared his availability.
It’s a good thing he did, because the Risky Business team won the top prize of $25,000 with a white marlin release, scored during Thursday’s first day of angling.
Coll released the marlin, worth 400 points and estimated to weigh 85 pounds, just before noon some 42 miles south of Key West.
The fish bit a green and yellow TKO lure, Coll said.
Coll said be never dreamed the billfish would win the three-day contest that was staged in conjunction with Key West’s annual Hemingway Days festival.
“After we caught the fish I said it’s too early in the tournament and we need to fish hard,” recalled Coll, who won the Drambuie in 2008. “We needed to fish as hard as we could and we did so.”
Reel Darlins, captained by Christopher Trosset of Key West, won $10,000 for second place with a total of 87 points. Cyd Tuskowski of St. Petersburg, Fla., caught a 37-pound wahoo Friday, adding to Thursday’s sailfish release by teammate Laura Russell of St. Petersburg Beach, Fla.
Greg Eklund of Islamorada, Fla., skippered the Cajun Queen team to 75 points and third place for $5,000. Angler Jordan Wolk of Tavernier, Fla., released a sailfish Friday. The sailfish was added to Thursday’s 25-pound dolphin caught by angler John Bechdel of Fort Myers, Fla.
Tournament director Tim Greene reported the event attracted some 200 anglers who fished on 33 boats. He also announced dates for the 2013 tournament of July 17-20.