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Keys Dolphin Season Gets in Gear with the Bull and Cow Tournament

Islamorada Beer team takes top slot with 64 pounds combined weight.

Over 550 registered anglers in 97 boats participated in the 11th Annual Tom Thumb Marathon Offshore Bull & Cow tournament, held May 5-7, at Hawks Cay Marina. Weather and conditions improved over the course of the two days of fishing, and the dolphin cooperated.

“Saturday was windy and rough, but Sunday calmed down and the fishing was better,” said tournament director Jack Carlson, who owns and runs Big Time Bait and Tackle in Marathon. “Dolphin fishing has been good lately,” Carlson said, “but this Saturday we had a north wind and just came off a west wind on Friday. Sunday the winds were lighter and starting to switch back to the east and that is why the dolphin fishing picked up. It will remain good for awhile.”

The largest dolphin weighed, a 54.2-pound bull landed by Islamorada Beer Company, pushed that team to first place in the combined bull and cow category. The team won the top slot of the event with a combined weight of 64 pounds for a bull and a cow dolphin.

“Day one, Islamorada Beer brought in a cow dolphin just over 9 pounds, but on day two, they added that 54.2-pound bull dolphin that pushed them into first place.”

Close in second place came team Tunaskin with a combined total of 60.3 pounds, and third saw Reel Conch weigh in 54.9 pounds with two fish.

In the category of the three largest dolphin overall, Executive Decision won with 93.7 pounds, a respectable average weight of just over 31 pounds per fish.

The largest wahoo weighed 34.6 pounds; the largest blackfin tuna 18.3 pounds, and the largest tripletail 8.4 pounds. In other categories, Jill Paglic won top female angler and Casey McCarthy won top junior angler.

For their top victory, Islamorada Beer took home $18,000.00.

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