The 37th Islamorada Invitational Fall Fly Bonefish Tournament kicked off on September 11 at the Islamorada Fishing Club with a rules meeting and dinner. All boats departed from the Lorelei on Wednesday the 12th with rain and clouds hanging on most of the day.
Despite the weather, Mark Richens, of Islamorada and London, England, took Day 1 High Point Angler fishing with Captain Mark Krowka. The team had two releases and took the award on time. Thursday brought thunderstorms and more rain but did not deter the enthusiasm of these hard core fly anglers and guides. Ned Johnson from Charleston, S.C. fishing with Captain Ted Christie, brought in the tournament’s first weight fish at 11 pounds 14 ounces. Later in the day, Rand Holstead of Houston, Texas fishing with Captain Brian Helms weighed in with an 8 pound 4 ounce bone. The Johnson and Christie team took the High Point Angler Day 2 trophy with points totaling 1455. The teams took off on Friday morning for the final day of fishing with better weather and hopes for improved fishing. Angler Mike Neal of Aventura, Florida, pegged the day’s only weight fish, 8 pounds 1 ounce, with guide Jared Raskob to take High Point Angler Day 3.
The Best Other Fish trophy went to Rand Holstead and Captain Brian Helms with a nice 15 pound permit on fly. The Most Bonefish Releases Award went to Ned Johnson and Captain Ted Christie with 7 fish as well as the coveted Charles F. Helmly Largest Bonefish Award. Holstead and Helms were the Runner Up Team with one weight fish and 5 releases for 1,096 points. Angler Johnson and Captain Christie took the honors of Grand Champions of the 2012 Islamorada Invitational Fall Fly Bonefish Tournament with one weight fish and 7 releases for a total of 2,110 points. They each received an original Jorge Martinez painting. This is the first win for both Ned Johnson and Captain Ted Christie in this prestigious bonefish tournament. Congratulations!